PM Narendra Modi on Friday welcomed his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau with a hug ahead of a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, putting to rest speculations about the government cold-shouldering the visiting dignitary. The Canadian PM even inspected a guard of honour at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
This comes at a time when PM Modi not receiving Trudeau at the airport, a courtesy he extended to some world leaders in the past, had triggered speculation in Canada that it was a snub to him for the rising Sikh radicalism in that country. However, government sources had strongly rejected the speculation, insisting normal diplomatic protocol has been extended to Trudeau.
After Trudeau, his wife Sophie, and children Xavier, Ella-Grace and Hadrien, alighted from a car on the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The prime minister shook hands with Trudeau and then hugged him.
Addressing a joint media event after nearly two-hour long meeting, PM Narendra Modi and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau said they discussed the entire gamut of the bilateral partnership.
The two leaders held extensive talks on key issues of counter-terrorism and extremism as well as ways to boost trade ties, after which they inked six pacts, including on energy cooperation.
Asserting that it is important that the two countries work together to fight terrorism, Modi said there should be no place for those who misuse religion for political goals. The prime minister also made it clear that those who challenge India's sovereignty and unity will not be tolerated.
The prime minister's remarks come amidst criticism of the Trudeau government's soft approach towards the Khalistan issue.
Observing that Trudeau has visited various parts of India in last few days, Modi said the Canadian leader must have experienced the diversity of the country.
On his part, Trudeau described India as a natural partner for commercial cooperation.
Here are the highlights:
# As Canada looks to diversify its own economy and looks for new opportunities to do business beyond its boundaries, India is a natural partner and a trusted friend for commercial cooperation: Canadian PM
# We share not only rich a history but a set of values that encourage a natural friendship between our two countries: Canadian PM
# 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
# Canada is a energy super-power, it can fulfill our increasing energy demands: PM Modi
# We have similar thoughts when it comes to the situation in North Korea & Maldives: PM Modi
# Terrorism & extremism are a threat to countries like ours and to fight these elements it is important for us to come together: PM Modi
# We discussed many issues including deference operation. Terrorism & extremism are a threat to countries like ours and to fight these elements it is important for us to come together: PM Modi
# Canada is an important destination for Indian students when it comes to higher education, more than 1 lakh 20 thousand of our students are there. We renewed our MoU on higher education which will enhance the exchange in terms of higher education: PM Modi
# Your visit awaited since long, we are happy that you visited along with your family: PM Modi to Justin Trudeau
# India, Canada exchange six agreements
# Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family paid tribute to Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi at the Rajghat.
# The bilateral talks will focus on trade, defence, civil nuclear cooperation, space, climate change and education.
# Delegation-level talks will also be held, with a number of agreements expected to be signed in several areas.
# Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau inspects guard of honour at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
# Trudeau, who is on a week-long visit to India accompanied with his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and three children -Ella-Grace, Xavier and Hadrien and a delegation of ministers, spent the day in the national capital on Thursday.
I hope PM @JustinTrudeau and his family had a very enjoyable stay so far. I particularly look forward to meeting his children Xavier, Ella-Grace, and Hadrien. Here is a picture from my 2015 Canada visit, when I'd met PM Trudeau and Ella-Grace. pic.twitter.com/Ox0M8EL46x— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 22, 2018
# After visiting Jama Masjid, Trudeau, along with his children, were seen having some leisure time as they played cricket with former Indian captains Kapil Dev and Mohammad Azharuddin.
# On Wednesday, the Trudeau family had visited Amritsar's Golden Temple, along with his wife and children before meeting the Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, where, the latter shared the concerns about militancy issue related to the separatist movement of Khalistan.