Reviewed the full range of India-Canada ties during the fruitful meeting with PM @JustinTrudeau. There is immense scope to boost cooperation in sectors like trade, culture and agriculture. 🇮🇳 🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/RjqxPvtfOi
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 27, 2022
According to a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), “as leaders of robust democracies with shared values”, Modi and Trudeau had a “productive meeting in which they discussed India-Canada bilateral relations and agreed to further strengthen trade and economic linkages, cooperation in security and counterterrorism, as well as people-to-people ties”.
“They also exchanged views on global and regional issues of mutual interest,” the statement added.
Briefing the media after the meeting, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said: “Prime Minister in his discussions with the Prime Minister of Canada, the areas which I mentioned to you covered, essentially trade and investment linkages, security and counterterrorism cooperation and promotion of people-to-people ties.”
In response to a query on the Khalistan issue, Kwatra added: “The prime minister made it very clear to the prime minister of Canada but also to other leaders that one of the major global challenges that all of us face is the challenge of terrorism and that is something on which India has consistently adopted and advocated zero tolerance.
“The prime minister made that point very clear in his bilateral interactions with all the leaders wherever it came up, including of course with the prime minister of Canada also.”
Khalistan has always been a major issue in bilateral ties. A major controversy erupted in February 2018 — Trudeau’s last visit to India — when a Khalistani separatist was seen attending an event of the Canadian Prime Minister in Mumbai.
Following that incident, Trudeau had called his visit to India “the trip to end all trips”.
Things took a turn for the worse in 2020, when at the peak of the farmers’ protest across India, Prime Minister Trudeau voiced his concerns about the “situation”, irking the Modi government. The Modi government had called the move “unacceptable interference” and even summoned the then Canadian High Commissioner to India, Nadir Patel.
However, a thaw came in 2021 when Canada sought vaccines from India, for which Trudeau called Modi.
India, Canada to align strategically
Prior to the meeting between the two prime ministers in Germany, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar met his Canadian counterpart Melanie Joly in Kigali, Rwanda, on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) on 23 June, where both decided to “work more closely to advance” the bilateral relationship.
Both sides also discussed ways to align more closely strategically under the Indo-Pacific framework.
Met with my Indian counterpart, @DrSJaishankar at #CHOGM2022 to discuss advancing our strategic partnership and our multilateral cooperation, global issues, human rights, Russia’s war in Ukraine and ensuring a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific for the benefit of our peoples. pic.twitter.com/ajmZp24nbt
— Mélanie Joly (@melaniejoly) June 23, 2022
(Edited by Uttara Ramaswamy)