Trudeau meets Indian Prime Minister Modi amidst tensions

Justin Trudeau and Narendra Modi in New Delhi on September 10. Photo: Modi's Twitter

PRIME Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the margins of the G20 Summit in New Delhi.

The prime ministers discussed India’s priorities under this year’s G20 theme, ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’. They spoke about inclusive economic growth, support for low-and middle-income countries, and access to concessional finance for sustainable development. They noted the importance of welcoming the African Union as a member of the G20.

Trudeau raised the importance of respecting the rule of law, democratic principles, and national sovereignty.

Modi tweeted: “We discussed the full range of India-Canada ties across different sectors.”


ACCORDING to a Canadian Press report, Modi tried to grasp Trudeau’s hand during a wreath laying ceremony at Mahatma Gandhi’s cremation site, but Trudeau pulled away. He was the only leader to do so.

Asked about the exchange, Trudeau suggested people could read into it what they wish, the report added.

Trudeau didn’t attend Modi’s leaders’ dinner the night before, and the Prime Minister’s Office won’t say why.

Trudeau also made it clear at a press conference that Canada will always defend “freedom of expression, freedom of conscience and peaceful protest.”

He added: “At the same time as we are always there to prevent violence, to push back against hatred.” Trudeau noted that the actions of the few do not represent the entire community or Canada.

India said in a statement on Sunday: “Prime Minister [Modi] highlighted that India-Canada relations are anchored in shared democratic values, respect for rule of law and strong people-to-people ties. He conveyed our strong concerns about continuing anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada. They are promoting secessionism and inciting violence against Indian diplomats, damaging diplomatic premises, and threatening the Indian community in Canada and their places of worship. The nexus of such forces with organized crime, drug syndicates and human trafficking should be a concern for Canada as well. It is essential for the two countries to cooperate in dealing with such threats.

“Prime Minister also mentioned that a relationship based on mutual respect and trust is essential for the progress of India-Canada relationship.”

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden told the media: “As I always do, I raised the importance of respecting human rights and the vital role that civil society and a free press have in building a strong and prosperous country with Mr. Modi.”


Trudeau and Modi in New Delhi.
Photo: Trudeau’s Twitter


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