New Delhi: Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra on Monday called on Sir Philip Barton, UK's Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, in New Delhi as part of the annual UK-India Strategic Dialogue.

The two top diplomats reviewed the 'substantial progress' made on the '2030 Roadmap' last year and looked ahead to the next phase of bilateral cooperation, British High Commission in New Delhi informed through a press release.

The release quoted Sir Philip as saying, "I am delighted to be here in New Delhi, at the start of 2023, to underline the UK's commitment to the 2030 Roadmap for deepening cooperation with India. Through our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, the UK and India are together playing a key role in tackling the biggest challenges facing the world today, including food and energy security, economic recovery post-Covid and preventing future pandemics."

"The UK and India are also increasingly working together multilaterally, including with the World Health Organisation and the international community on potential Malaria and Ebola vaccines. I was pleased to hear from Foreign Secretary Kwatra about India's ambitious plans for its G20 Presidency. India is at the heart of the Indo-Pacific region, where half the world's people live and 50% of global economic growth is produced. The UK is committed to working closely with India in making its Presidency a success," Sir Philip added.

Further, according to the release, the dialogue celebrated various milestones achieved in 2022, including an agreement on Mutual Recognition of Academic Qualifications signed in July, the bespoke Young Professionals Scheme confirmed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in November; and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch's first visit to India last month for the sixth round of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations.

Sir Philip also called on External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar, in addition to holding talks with a range of UK partners in the country, the British High Commission in New Delhi further informed.

In 2021, India and the UK had agreed on ambitious plans for the next decade of the bilateral relationship with the '2030 Roadmap', including commitments to deepen cooperation on health, climate, trade, education, science and technology, and defence.

In his role as the Permanent Under-Secretary, Sir Barton is responsible for advising the UK Foreign Secretary and his team on foreign and development policy and managing the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). He is the seniormost diplomat in the UK and also the head of the UK Diplomatic Service.

Sir Philip joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1986 and was posted in Delhi in the 1990s. His mother was born in Shimla and his daughter is named 'India'.

Before taking up his current role, he was the British High Commissioner to India.