Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire in Visit to India

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Hugo Swire, the Minister of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, is visiting India today to discuss trade and security. A spokesman added that the trip was intended to build on the visit made by David Cameron, the Prime Minister, in November 2015.

Swire said in a statement:

“Prime Minister Modi’s historic visit to the United Kingdom set a new level of ambition for our relationship with India. It deepened our existing bonds in security and defence, business, innovation, education and culture.

As modern, diverse and dynamic democracies, the UK and India have a natural affinity and enjoy a genuinely strategic partnership that we want to take to the next level. Together, we will play an indispensable role in tackling the great challenges of our time, from terrorism and cyber threats to inclusive growth for all and sustainable energy”.

British Government welcomes agreement between North and South Korea

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Hugo Swire, a Minister of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, has welcomed an agreement between North and South Korea on the matter of the Korean Peninsula.

The agreement comes after days of localised disagreements including artillery and propaganda spread on loudspeakers. There had been concerns that North Korea had been increasing its armed presence on the border and that the situation could escalate.

In a statement Swire said:

“This is a welcome development which demonstrates the importance of dialogue and diplomacy. I am especially pleased both sides have committed to hold further talks to try to improve inter-Korean relations. Both countries working together to improve stability is a positive step which I hope, in time, will realise the international community’s vision of a de-nuclearised Korean Peninsula, free from the fear of conflict”.

Hugo Swire condemns killing of blogger in Bangladesh

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Hugo Swire, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister, has condemned the killing of Niloy Neel, a well-known blogger, in Bangladesh.

Neel ran the Blogger and Online Activists’ Network in the country was killed in his flat in Dhaka. His death is the fourth in recent months and it is thought that an Islamic militant may have killed Neel because of his atheist views.

In a statement Swire said:

“I was appalled to learn of the violent murder in Bangladesh of blogger Niloy Neel, the fourth such death this year. It was a horrifying and cowardly crime. My thoughts are with Niloy’s family and friends.

I call on the Bangladeshi authorities to investigate his death urgently, and to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The freedom of speech is a universal right which must be protected. The UK stands together with the people and government of Bangladesh in the face of extremism”.

Government Express Concern Over Indonesian Executions

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Hugo Swire, the Minister for Asia, has expressed concern over the executions which have taken place, and others which are planned, in Indonesia. Swire said:

“We share the concerns of our international partners about today’s executions in Indonesia. As is well-known, it is the long-standing policy of the UK to oppose the death penalty in all circumstances. We have made representations to the Indonesian government on this matter repeatedly and at the highest levels, and we will continue to do so. We welcome the EU’s call for collaboration on alternative approaches to tackling drug crime”.