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Foreign Secretary visits India ahead of Gandhi statue unveiling

Philip Hammond will visit Chandigarh and Delhi ahead of this weekend’s unveiling of the long-awaited statue of Gandhi in Parliament Square, London.

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The Foreign Secretary will reiterate the Prime Minister’s invitation for the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit the UK, and will focus on deepening the warm relationship between India and the UK for the security and growth of both countries.

In Chandigarh, Mr Hammond will open the new British Deputy High Commission, attend the first meeting of the British Business Group, and meet with the Chief Ministers of Punjab and Haryana.

Mr Hammond will then travel to Delhi, visiting the Gandhi Darshan museum on the 85th anniversary of Gandhi’s departure from Kankipur to begin the Salt March. He will meet with the Indian Minister for External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj and the Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley.

The Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said:

I am delighted to be making my first visit to India as Foreign Secretary. The UK’s partnership with India is indispensable for both our countries’ prosperity and security.

Our partnership is deeply rooted in our overlapping histories, cultures and values. This Saturday, the long-awaited statue of Mahatma Gandhi in London’s Parliament Square will unite citizens from both our democracies in admiration for his teaching of civil rights and non-violence.

I am particularly pleased to be opening our new Deputy High Commission in Chandigarh. The UK now has more diplomatic missions in India than any other nation does, and more than it has in any other country – a sure sign of the great importance we place on our relationship.

Further information

The UK’s diplomatic missions in India are a High Commission in Delhi; and Deputy High Commissions in Ahmedabad; Bangalore; Chandigarh; Chennai; Hyderabad; Kolkata; and Mumbai. There is also a Trade Office in Pune and a Tourist Information Office in Goa.

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Published 11 March 2015