India is one of our most important partners: UK High Commissioner Alex Ellis
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India is one of our most important partners: UK High Commissioner Alex Ellis


Calling India “one of the most important partners”, United Kingdom’s high commissioner Alex Ellis has said that this is a “moment to transform our relationship”. His comments come ahead of India UK virtual summit led by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on May 4.
Speaking to Wion, HC Ellis highlighted the British assistance to India as it battles the COVID pandemic. He said, “UK has worked with the utmost urgency and speed to support our friends in India”, pointing to the “incredible level of support from the wider British public and industry.”
On 27th April, UK became the first country to send anti-Covid assistance to New Delhi. Assistance included oxygen concentrators, ventilators. London has also announced it will provide three oxygen generation units, each producing 500 litres of oxygen per minute.
Previous to the current position, HC Ellis has been the Deputy National Security Adviser for the Integrated Review on diplomacy, development and defence.
On UK being the first country to send assistance to India to deal with the COVID pandemic, Ellis said, “Across Government, the UK has worked with the utmost urgency and speed to support our friends in India, to help relieve the phenomenal pressure the country’s healthcare system is under. The Prime Minister himself made a pledge to do all we can to help. The UK has announced the delivery of vital medical equipment to assist India in its fight against Covid-19. This includes: 1,200 ventilators, 495 oxygen concentrators, and 3 oxygen generation units.”
Ellis further said, “Our health secretaries, foreign ministers, and a range of experts from various fields are in regular contact and we will continue working closely with the Government of India to identify the right kind of assistance we can provide. Oxygen is obviously one of the main needs at this time, which is why we announced further support with the 3 oxygen generation units.”
On anti-covid cooperation between the two countries, Ellis said, “The importance of our collaboration on researching, developing, and manufacturing a Covid vaccine cannot be understated. The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was developed with unprecedented speed and made available ‘at cost’ to Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer. This is already a scientific achievement of historic proportions.”
“The UK is India’s biggest European research partner, and 2nd biggest globally, with £400 million joint investment in research and innovation collaboration since 2008. Over 20% of UK Research and Innovation’s partnership with India is health and wellbeing focused,” he added.
On New Delhi being vital for London, Ellis said, “India is one of our most important partners. As we embark on an intensive period of international leadership – the UK as Presidency of the G7 and COP26, and India on the UN Security Council, as BRICS President and G20 President in 2023 – this is a moment to transform our relationship, address challenges to our security in both the physical and digital worlds, respond to the economic and health impacts of Covid-19 and lay the foundations for a secure and prosperous decade ahead.”
On Johnson’s visit to India, Ellis said, “The Prime Minister remains keen to return to India as soon as he is able but obviously paramount at this time for both Governments is ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our people.”
“Both our Prime Ministers remain committed to setting out the next decade of the UK-India success story and we expect to see these conversations taking place very soon,” he concluded.


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