The Foreign Office before the Modi-Johnson talks

By PTI

NEW DELHI: India has repeatedly stressed the need to bring economic fugitives to justice as well as security concerns that may arise from individuals who hold anti-India stances, the External Affairs Ministry said on Thursday, before the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s talks with his British counterpart Boris Johnson.

External Affairs Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi’s remarks at a press conference came in response to a question whether the Indian side would raise the issue of fugitive economic offender Vijay Mallya and Khalistan in talks with Johnson friday.

Bagchi, however, added that he did not know whether or in what context these issues might arise, if at all, during the talks between Modi and Johnson. “As part of our program, we have repeatedly emphasized the need to bring economic fugitives to justice and I have said so repeatedly from this forum, as well as the security concerns that may arise from individuals who may harbor anti-Indian positions,” Bagchi said.

“It’s part of our discussions on various platforms. I don’t know how or in what context it will happen, if at all, I think we should leave that to the leaders,” he added. Speaking of the visit, Bagchi said, “We look forward to it being a productive visit…we had a very successful summit last year.

He said he could not speculate what the leaders would discuss at the meeting. “He (Johnson) is in Gujarat and has been very warmly received by the Gujarat government. He has already done a few engagements in the day, including Saraswati. He has traveled to India before, but this is his first visit to India. .as prime minister. We’re looking forward to that,” Bagchi said.

A main focus of Johnson’s talks with Modi will be the situation in the Indo-Pacific, as the UK is strongly opposed to any form of coercion in the region, people close to the development said.

Johnson is expected to arrive in Delhi later tonight.

Shirlene J. Manley