PM Modi, Trudeau set to meet on sidelines of G7 summit
India Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday will hold his first in-person bilateral meeting with his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau in over four years, in Germany.
This will be the first time they hold such discussions sitting across from each other since Trudeau visited India in February 2018. The bilateral meeting has been confirmed by the Canadian prime minister’s officer and is scheduled for 6pm local time (9:30 pm IST) in Schloss Elmau, on the margins of the ongoing Group of Seven (G7) summit.
The meeting is expected to last for about 20 minutes. It will follow a working session called Stronger Together: Addressing Food Security and Advancing Gender Equality between G7 leaders and international partner countries, including India, and organisations.
A preparatory meeting for this bilateral was held last Thursday between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly on the margins of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2022 in Kigali, Rwanda.
According to senior Indian officials, the agenda will include significant global issues including the Indo-Pacific, the situation in Ukraine, the commodities crisis caused by the Russian attack, including its impact on food security.
They were cautious in keeping expectations from the meeting tempered as outstanding irritants remain, like the growth in pro-Khalistan elements in Canada. India wants to take that into account while focusing on strengthening the trade relationship between the two countries, especially with an Early Progress Trade Agreement (EPTA) under consideration and likely to be sealed before the end of the year while dialogue continues on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
This will be first in-person meeting between the two PMs since Trudeau’s unprompted remarks in December 2020 on the farmers’ agitation which caused tensions in ties. However, since then Trudeau has refrained from similar comments on India’s internal affairs and reined in the ruling Liberal caucus members from doing so as well.
In February last year, Trudeau had also reached out to Modi and requested a shipment of Covid-19 vaccines from India during the course of a call. New Delhi had reacted positively and sent a consignment of Covishield to Canada in March 2021.
About 99 per cent of the coronavirus sequences reported globally in a month - between July 8 and August 8 - were linked to the Omicron variant, the World Health Organization has said in its latest weekly bulletin, highlighting that “BA.5 descendent lineages” are increasing in diversity. The world health body has said it has been tracking an increase in prevalence and change in vital characteristics of the lineages.
Former President Donald Trump called late Thursday for the “immediate” release of the federal warrant the FBI used to search his Florida estate, hours after the Justice Department had asked a court to unseal the warrant, with Attorney General Merrick Garland citing the “substantial public interest in this matter.” The Justice Department request earlier Thursday is striking because such documents traditionally remain sealed during a pending investigation.
For the first time ever, the Indian government has called upon Canada to ensure adequate security during Independence Day celebrations at missions in the country but to also prevent the disruption of events organised by the Indo-Canadian community. This was conveyed by India's high commission in Ottawa to Global Affairs Canada, the country's foreign ministry, in a diplomatic communique.
Doubts have been cast over the necessity for the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to impose a draconian emergency in the country in February to counter the so-called Freedom Convoy then occupying the capital of Ottawa, as documents filed in a court on Thursday appeared to indicate there was information that a “breakthrough” was possible in negotiations between authorities and the anti-vaccine mandate protesters. The Canadian government has countered these revelations.
Over the last two years, the United States has seen coronavirus wreaking havoc while the world witnessed the worst of the pandemic in one of the world's most developed nations. Amid the spread of virus and its mutation still a matter of concern, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has taken a step forward in loosening the restrictions. Children exposed to Covid don't have to get a negative test.