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‘Bright future ahead’ for ties with India: UK minister Alok Sharma

India and Britain have a “bright future” ahead, says UK’s minister of state for Asia, Alok Sharma, in a message on the occasion of India’s Republic Day.

world Updated: Jan 25, 2017 15:39 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Minister of state Alok Sharma,India-Britain ties,Republic Day
File photo of Alok Sharma, the UK’s minister of state for Asia.(aloksharma.co.uk)

UK’s minister of state for Asia Alok Sharma has extended wishes to the British Indian community and the people of India on Republic Day, saying he believes India and Britain have a “bright future” ahead.

This is the first time that the role of an Indian-origin minister in the Foreign Office includes India. Sharma was appointed after May took over as prime minister following the resignation of theDavid Cameron government after the EU referendum last year.

Sharma, a Conservative MP from Reading, responded on behalf of the government at the end of a debate on Kashmir in the House of Commons last week. He said Britain has no role in conflict resolution.

In a message for India’s Republic Day, he said: “As the Minister of State for Asia, I would like to extend my warmest wishes to the people of India and the British Indian community in the United Kingdom on the occasion of India’s Republic Day.

“Republic Day also reminds us of the deep and longstanding ties between our governments and, more importantly, the ‘living bridge’ between our people, supported by 1.5 million British Indians who make up our successful and vibrant diaspora community.”

He added, “I have the honour to represent the government on UK-India affairs and am proud to see our partnership go from strength to strength.”

Sharma, who campaigned for Britain remaining in the European Union before the June 23 referendum, said: “Our two countries have much in common, our shared history, values, culture and language. We have a bright future ahead.”

First Published: Jan 25, 2017 15:39 IST