David Cameron holds first meeting as foreign secretary with Indian counterpart

Jaishankar posts light-hearted remark on X as his UK trip coincides with prime minister’s shake up

Maroosha Muzaffar
Tuesday 14 November 2023 10:15 GMT
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David Cameron enters Number 10 amid Cabinet reshuffle

David Cameron began his new stint as the UK’s foreign secretary by meeting his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar.

India’s foreign minister, Mr Jaishankar, shared a quip on Rishi Sunak’s dramatic cabinet reshuffle that had him meet both James Cleverly and David Cameron on the first day of his visit to the UK.

Mr Sunak’s sudden cabinet reshuffle meant Mr Jaishankar started his five-day visit to Britain on Sunday by meeting Mr Cleverly. A day later, he met Mr Cleverly’s successor, the former British prime minister Mr Cameron.

Mr Jaishankar weighed in on the reshuffle on X/Twitter.

“Met UK foreign secretary James Cleverly at high commissioner’s reception last evening. Met UK home secretary James Cleverly this evening,” he said in a post on Monday.

“Appreciate @JamesCleverly’s continued support for our strategic partnership.”

Mr Cameron took over from Mr Cleverly, who is now the UK’s home secretary, following the sacking of Suella Braverman.

Mr Cameron and Mr Jaishankar spoke about the “concerning situation in Israel and Gaza and Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine”, according to a statement from the UK government on Monday.

The Indian foreign minister said he discussed with Mr Cameron the “full potential of our (India and UK’s) strategic partnership”.

“In the meeting, they also covered the importance of the Indo-Pacific region to global growth and prosperity,” said the UK government statement.

“They also reflected on the strength of the UK-India relationship – including meeting the ambition of the UK-India 2030 Roadmap,” it said.

“The foreign secretary and Dr Jaishankar also discussed progressing a free trade agreement and partnerships on defence, science and technology.”

Mr Jaishankar, along with his wife Kyoko Jaishankar, had tea at No 10 with Mr Sunak and his wife Akshata Murthy. The minister addressed the Indian community in London at a Diwali reception.

Speaking about his latest appointment with the BBC, Mr Cameron said he “decided to join this team because I believe Rishi Sunak is a good prime minister doing a difficult job at a hard time. I want to support him”.

“I have one job – to be foreign secretary and work with the prime minister for the UK to be as secure and prosperous as possible in a difficult and dangerous world,” he said.

“I am pleased to have appointed a new foreign secretary who will build on everything we have achieved in the last year,” said Mr Sunak after the cabinet reshuffle and appointment of Mr Cameron.

Mr Cameron, an advocate for remaining in the EU, has maintained a low profile since exiting the political arena.

In his 2019 memoir, however, he regretted the fact that his “political career is ending so fast”.

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