New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited his British counterpart Boris Johnson on the sidelines of the G7 Summit and discussed ways to further cement the bilateral ties between the two countries in terms of trade, defence and innovation.

“We had a great meeting Prime Minister Boris Johnson, where we got to discuss ways to further cement ties in trade, defence, and innovation. India and United Kingdom relations are robust this benefits our citizens greatly,” tweeted Prime Minister Modi.

Meanwhile, Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar tweeted, “PM Narendra Modi had a good meeting with UK PM Boris Johnson on margins of G-7 summit. Discussions focused on strengthening our bilateral ties going forward, inter alia, in trade & investment, defence & security, S & T and education sectors.”

The G7 Summit is being held in the southwestern French city. It was the first meeting between the two leaders after Johnson became Prime Minister last month, the third in fairly quick succession since Britain voted to leave the EU in June 2016 – following on from David Cameron and Theresa May. Their meeting came against the backdrop of the Indian government revoking the special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcating the state into two Union Territories.

Earlier, the two leaders had a telephonic conversation last week in which Johnson told Modi that Kashmir remains a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan as far as the UK’s view is concerned. “The Prime Minister made clear that the UK views the issue of Kashmir as one for India and Pakistan to resolve bilaterally. He underlined the importance of resolving issues through dialogue,” a Downing Street spokesperson said in an official readout of the phone call on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, tensions between India and Pakistan hiked after India abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories, evoking strong reactions from Pakistan. India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 was an internal matter and also advised Pakistan to accept the reality.

(With agency inputs)