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Editorial of the Day (23rd Feb): India-UK Strategic Ties

Context: India and U.K reliance on the maritime is increasing, but are increasingly under threat, from the Black Sea to the Red Sea to the South China Sea.

India-UK Partnership: Key Areas of Cooperation

Security and Defence

  • Operation Prosperity Guardian: Launched in December 2023, this initiative underscores the cooperative efforts between the UK, the US, India, and other partners to protect commercial shipping in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden from threats, notably Houthi attacks.
    • The operation is indicative of the shared commitment to securing vital maritime trade routes that are essential for global food and aid distribution, particularly to regions like Yemen.
  • Defence Partnership: The defence relationship between India and the UK has seen significant deepening, with increased interactions and cooperation between their armed forces.
    • This includes record numbers of UK ship visits to India, highlighted by the deployment of the UK’s Carrier Strike Group in 2021 and plans for further deployments such as the Littoral Strike Group and another Carrier Strike Group mission in 2025.
    • These initiatives aim to enhance shared operational capabilities and underscore the strategic importance of the Indo-Asia Pacific region to global security and prosperity.
    • This partnership facilitates the exchange of knowledge and expertise, strengthening the defence capabilities of both nations.
    • Additionally, military education ties are being bolstered, with officers from the Indian Armed Forces joining British service academies as instructors, further deepening the defence relationship.

Global Issues

  • Support for Ukraine: The UK’s commitment to supporting Ukraine against Russian aggression, with £2.5 billion in military aid for 2024-25 and a total of almost £12 billion since 2022, reflects a broader commitment to upholding international law and order. This stance, supported by India, highlights the convergence of India-UK interests in maintaining global stability and countering unilateral aggression.
  • Indo-Asia Pacific Focus: The UK’s strategic pivot to the Indo-Asia Pacific, established as a permanent policy pillar in 2023, aligns with India’s critical role in the region. The UK’s engagement in this region, in collaboration with India, signifies a mutual understanding of the changing global economic and strategic landscape.

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Other Pillars

  • Shared Values: Collaboration built on a foundation of mutual interests and respect for international rules.
  • International Order: Commitment to promoting peace and prosperity through a rules-based global system.

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