New Delhi: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was today received by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi.
PM Modi gave Trudeau his trademark bear hug. The Prime Ministers of the two nations met at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. After being welcomed at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, Trudeau and his family paid their tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat.
Before the meeting, PM Modi posted a picture of him along with Trudeau and Ella-Grace of his visit to Canada in April 2015. In response to PM Modi’s tweet, Justin Trudeau tweeted back that his daughter Ella-Grace remembered the time when that photo was taken and Trudeau also mentioned that his visit to India had been “great” so far. “We’ll see you today,” he added.
In a meeting, Prime Ministers of the two nations extensively talked about sectors like trade, defence, environment, education, healthcare, IT, science and technology, defence and security, tourism and people-to-people contacts and also talked about cooperation over civil nuclear energy.
Standing beside his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that any attempts to challenge India’s sovereignty and unity will not be tolerated.
“There should be no space for those who misuse religion for political motives and promote separatism. We will not tolerate those who challenge unity and integrity of our countries,” PM Modi said as he addressed a joint press meet with the Canadian PM.
Earlier in the week, a major row erupted after PM Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, was photographed standing with a convicted pro-Khalistan terrorist , Jaspal Atwal, at a Mumbai event.
Atwal, who was a member of the now-banned International Sikh Youth Federation, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for trying to kill the then Punjab cabinet minister Malkiat Singh Sidhu on Vancouver Island in 1986. Atwal later even confessed he was the shooter.
Atwal was even invited to a dinner-reception in Delhi celebrating the Canada-India ties on the occasion of PM Trudeau’s visit to India. Later, the invitation was cancelled by Canada.
Trudeau, in a meeting with PM Modi, said that the two nations share a common respect for democratic values, pluralism, and democracy. He added India is a natural and a trusted friend for commercial cooperation as Canada looks to diversify its own economy and looks forward to new opportunities to do business beyond the boundaries of Canada.
The two counterparts have signed six pacts and witnessed the exchange of MoUs between India and Canada. At a joint press meet, Mr. Modi emphasized upon terrorism and extremism and said these are a threat to both the countries; therefore it is important that both the countries must fight them together.
A MoU was signed between India and Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC). It was signed to guide the “programme based research support” in addressing current and future global and local developmental challenges, The memorandum was signed between Shri S. Selvakumar, Joint Secretary (Bilateral Cooperation), Department of Economic Affairs and Dr. Jean Lebel, the President of IDRC, Canada.
Indian side officials acknowledged the contribution of IDRC in supporting quality research in various fields including finance, agriculture, industry and health in India, during the meeting.
Almost 551 research activities worth CA$159 million in India have been funded by IDRC since 1097, through institutions, researchers, and NGOs. Further 96 research projects worth CA$ 51 million have been funded by the IDRC in India, recently.
Prior to the meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister and discussed various issues of common interest. Raveesh Kumar, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson in a tweet stated, Sushma Swaraj had a great meeting with the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau and discussed ways to strengthen and deepen the partnership between the two nations.