New Delhi, December 2: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reportedly been invited by India as the chief guest of Republic Day 2021 parade. A leading English daily on Wednesday claimed that the invite was extended to Johnson personally by PM Narendra Modi during a telephonic conversation between the two leaders on November 27. Modi Speaks to Johnson on Defence, Climate Change, COVID-19, Tweets 'Discussed Ambitious Roadmap for India-UK Ties'.

An official statement on the reported invite to Johnson is awaited. However, top government sources told HT that the Indian Prime Minister decided to invite his UK counterpart, as part of a well-thought out strategy to build post-Brexit British-Indian trade ties.

The British High Commission in India refrained from either confirming or denying the report. "We can’t confirm one way or other, PM Boris Johnson keen to visit India as soon as possible," the Embassy spokesperson said.

Update by ANI

The report, citing sources, further claimed that Johnson on his part invited Modi for the G7 summit that will be hosted by London late next year. The two leaders spoke on an array of issued during the "positive conversation" they had over the phone, including COVID-19 vaccines, economic recovery and climate change.

"We agreed to work towards a quantum leap in our cooperation in all areas — trade and investments, defence and security, climate change and fighting Covid-19,” Modi tweeted last week, following his conversation with Johnson.

If f Johnson attends the Republic Day 2021 parade next year, he would be the first British Prime Minister in the last 28 years to visit India as the chief guest of the marquee constitutional event. The last UK PM who attended the ceremony as the main guest of honour was John Major in the year 1993.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 02, 2020 04:31 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website