Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Britain PM Boris Johnson

After announcing a fresh lockdown in England, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday cancelled his visit to India as the chief guest of this year’s Republic Day parade on January 26.

Johnson spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday morning to express his regret at not being able to visit India later this month as planned, a statement issued by his Downing Street office said.

This comes amid growing tension of the speed at which the new coronavirus variant is spreading in the UK. The British PM said that it is important for him to remain in the UK to focus on the domestic response to the virus.

The two leaders underlined their shared commitment to the bilateral relationship, and to continuing to build on the close collaboration between the two countries, including response to the pandemic.

Johnson said that he hopes to be able to visit India in the first half of 2021, and ahead of the UK’s G7 Summit that Modi is due to attend as a guest.

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