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Britain's Foreign Office minister Lord Tariq Ahmad will be on a two-day visit to New Delhi from tomorrow to discuss bilateral and foreign policy issues, including the Commonwealth. During his visit, Ahmad will meet Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar and explore deeper India-UK ties. He will also meet British and Indian businesses and will launch the latest round of Chevening and Commonwealth scholarships and speak to Indian partners working on gender equality issues, the UK Foreign Office said today. "I am delighted to be returning to India for the first time in my role as a Foreign Office minister.
The UK and India's relationship is going from strength-to-strength. As well as being global strategic partners, we benefit from a unique living bridge where thousands of diaspora, family, education, cultural, trade, science and research ties enrich our day-to-day lives," Ahmad said in a pre-visit statement. "I will be taking forward discussions with Indian partners on making a success of next year's Commonwealth Summit in London. India has a crucial role to play in ensuring this family of democracies is fit to take advantage, and face the challenges posed by the 21st century," he said. The Foreign Office said the minister's visit is aimed at exploring how India and the UK can work together to "renew and revitalise" relationships within the Commonwealth, setting out a new vision and liberalising the global trading environment. The next Commonwealth Summit will be hosted during the week of April 16, 2018, immediately following the closing of the Commonwealth Games in Queensland, Australia, with venues including St James's Palace, Lancaster House, Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle in London.
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