PM Modi, Trudeau set to meet on sidelines of G7 summit
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
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.