‘There’s Commitment To Work Together’: Trudeau On Chat With Modi At G7 Summit


Amidst severe strain in bilateral ties, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Saturday a commitment to work together with India to address “very important issues” after meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G7 Summit. This meeting, which took place in Apulia, southern Italy, is the first between the two leaders amidst heightened diplomatic tensions over pro-Khalistani extremism.

On Friday, Modi had posted an image on social media of the two leaders shaking hands, captioned simply, “Met Canadian PM Justin Trudeau at the G7 Summit”. This image showed a moment of direct engagement between the two leaders following a tumultuous period in India-Canada relations.

Trudeau’s remarks came during a press conference in Savelletri Di Fasano on Saturday, the concluding day of the three-day G7 Summit. “I’m not going to get into the details of this important, sensitive issue that we need to follow up, but this was a commitment to work together, in the coming times, to deal with some very important issues,” Trudeau told reporters, as per news agency PTI.

According to the Canadian Prime Minister’s Office, the leaders had a brief discussion on the bilateral relationship, during which Trudeau also congratulated Modi on his re-election. “Of course, there are important issues between our two countries right now. You can appreciate that we won’t be making any further statements at this time,” spokesperson Ann-Clara Vaillancourt was quoted by the Canadian Press news agency as saying.

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Canada’s Allegations Of ‘Indian Govt Involvement’ In Hardeep Singh Nijjar Murder And MEA’s Response

The meeting is notable as it follows allegations from Trudeau last year, asserting that Canadian authorities were “actively pursuing credible allegations related to Indian government involvement in the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a designated terrorist.” The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of India had strongly rejected these allegations as “absurd and motivated”.

The last face-to-face interaction between Modi and Trudeau occurred on the sidelines of the G20 Summit hosted by India in September. 

India has consistently voiced its concerns over Canada providing space to pro-Khalistan elements operating with impunity from Canadian soil. New Delhi expects Ottawa to take strong action against these elements. Nijjar’s murder is currently being probed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), with four Indian nationals arrested in connection.

The meeting with Trudeau capped a busy day of bilateral engagements for Prime Minister Modi, including discussions with French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Japanese PM Fumio Kishida, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni – the host of the summit. Modi also had interactions with other world leaders, including US President Joe Biden.

Additionally, Prime Minister Modi participated in the Outreach session on Artificial Intelligence, Energy, Africa, and the Mediterranean, along with Pope Francis and leaders from Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Jordan, Kenya, Mauritania, Tunisia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), on the invitation of Meloni.

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