The Prime Minister brought the stark message of a confrontation between democracy and autocracy over the future of the world…writes Arul Louis
Newly-elected British Prime Minister Liz Truss said that to build economic strength and resilience, her country is deepening relations and growing security ties with fellow democracies like India.
Making her debut on the world stage on Wednesday at the high-level meeting of the General Assembly, she said: “The free world needs this economic strength and resilience to push back against authoritarian aggression and win this new era of strategic competition.”
For this, Truss said: “We are deepening our links with fellow democracies like India, Israel, Indonesia and South Africa… We are building new security ties with our friends in the Indo-Pacific and the Gulf.”
Last year, India and Britain committed to Roadmap 2030, a broad plan for cooperation that encompasses strategic affairs, trade, Indian Ocean and Indo-Pacific security, climate change and health.
The Prime Minister brought the stark message of a confrontation between democracy and autocracy over the future of the world.
“There is a real struggle going on between different forms of society – between democracies and autocracies. But we cannot simply assume there will be a democratic future.
“Unless democratic societies deliver on the economy and security our citizens expect, we will fall behind,” she added.
For this, Truss said, democracies like Britain have to build their economies and not “be strategically dependent on those who seek to weaponise the global economy”, a reference to Russia, whose ongoing invasion of Ukraine and its fallout have hit many countries hard.
To be economically and strategically resilient, democracies must band together, she said.
And alluding to the predatory nature of China’s economic programmes abroad, the Prime Minister said: “Rather than exerting influence through debt, aggression, and taking control of critical infrastructure and minerals, we are building strategic ties based on mutual benefit and trust.”
Earlier on Wednesday, India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar met the UK’s Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.
In a tweet after the meeting, Jaishankar said: “Discussed taking forward Roadmap 2030. Appreciate his commitment to deepening our partnership. Our conversation also covered global issues including Indo-Pacific, Ukraine and UNSC matters.”