The UK is committed to work closely with India to keep the two countries secure and act together as a force for good in the world, the new British High Commissioner here said on Wednesday.
Philip Barton, who was previously posted in the country in the 1990s and had named his daughter 'India', presented his credentials to President Ram Nath Kovind as the UK's new High Commissioner here at a virtual ceremony.
Barton succeeds Dominic Asquith, who served as High Commissioner to India from April 2016 to January 2020.
"The UK-India relationship is remarkable and we share an unparalleled breadth and depth of connection," Barton was quoted as saying by a statement issued by the British High Commission here.
"There is a deep commitment across the British government, industry and civil society to grow that relationship even further," he said.
Barton said his country is committed to developing trade and economic partnership with India, now that the UK has left the EU, and tackling jointly the global challenges of climate change and green recovery, as well as acting together as a force for good in the world.
The UK is also committed to work closely with India as partners to keep "our countries safe and secure", he said.
Noting that his posting comes at "an extraordinarily difficult time", Barton said the coronavirus is without precedent in modern times, but it has also brought out the importance of the modern partnership between the UK and India "from our excellent collaboration in developing and manufacturing a vaccine for global distribution, to securing essential medical supplies for health workers".
It has also brought out the joint determination to "build back better" from this crisis, he said.
Barton said he sees his job as ensuring that this crucial partnership continues to prosper.
"We often speak of the 'living bridge' of people, ideas and institutions that tie the UK and India together. I, too, am part of that bridge. My mother was born in Shimla and I was posted here in Delhi in the 1990s," Barton said.
"I met my wife, Amanda, when we both lived and worked here and we named our daughter 'India'- not knowing I would return one day as High Commissioner," he said.
Barton said he is delighted to be back and looks forward to continuing to build on what Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called an "unbeatable combination" -- a forward-looking, modern partnership between the UK and India.
Barton joined the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1986 and has previously served as the Director General, Consular and Security in London, as the British High Commissioner to Pakistan, and as Deputy Ambassador in Washington.
Prior to arriving in New Delhi last month, he helped the UK government adapt its long-term planning to the pandemic. PTI