PM Modi and Boris Johnson's patch-up hugs followed the India-UK vaccination stalemate.
At the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson displayed their friendliness and goodwill. By resolving the vaccine recognition problem, which had become a sensitive point for India days before the summit, the two leaders were able to exchange hugs and have a free-wheeling conversation.
Following London's reluctance to recognize Covishield/AstraZeneca vaccinations administered in India and requiring Indian travelers to undergo mandatory quarantine and testing, India and the UK had a major diplomatic spat. New Delhi had vowed retaliation and had eventually carried it out.
Boris Johnson, as the host of the COP26 conference, made a particular gesture by inviting Prime Minister Modi onto the platform with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during the opening ceremony. Later, the leaders convened for a separate meeting to discuss all areas of bilateral, regional, and global affairs.
"They agreed to strengthen bilateral defense and security collaboration, as well as cooperation on international problems, notably the situation in Afghanistan," the UK Prime Minister's office said in a statement.
According to India's Ministry of External Affairs, "counter-terrorism, Indo-Pacific, supply chain resilience, and post-Covid global economic recovery" were also covered in considerable length.
The two sides also discussed how the Roadmap 2030 priorities are being implemented, notably in the areas of commerce and economics, people-to-people, health, defense, and security.
"They expressed satisfaction with the progress made in delivering the Enhanced Trade Partnership, including the steps taken toward the start of FTA negotiations," according to a statement from the MEA.
Both leaders discussed the possibility of a free trade agreement between the United Kingdom and India, with Prime Minister Johnson "reiterating the UK's commitment to increasing trade, investment, and commercial connections between our two countries," according to the UK PMO.
According to the MEA, India and the United Kingdom have committed to collaborate closely on "climate financing, technology, innovation, and adaptation, green hydrogen, renewables, and clean technologies, including cooperative projects under ISA and CDRI."
PM Boris Johnson praised India's climate leadership, and the two talked about how they could collaborate on global solutions, including scaling up inexpensive green technology.
“Prime Minister Modi applauded the new UK-India Green Guarantee, which will allow the World Bank to release funds. As a vital actor in the worldwide effort to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, the Prime Minister hopes to see India submit an aggressive emissions reduction target at COP26. The UK PMO stated, "He promised the UK's support as India shifts away from coal and toward renewable energy."
PM Modi also commended Boris Johnson for organizing the COP26 summit and for his personal leadership in advocating for global climate change mitigation and adaptation.