Updated: February 12, 2021 8:40:13 pm
A day after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office said he talked to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on ‘recent protests’, an apparent reference to the ongoing farmers’ stir, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Trudeau has hailed the central government’s way of trying to resolve the deadlock with the protesting farmers through “dialogue as befitting in democracy”.
“On the farmers’ protests, Prime Minister Trudeau commended efforts of the Government of India to choose the path of dialogue as befitting in democracy,” MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said in a statement. “Trudeau also acknowledged the responsibility of his government in providing protection to Indian diplomatic premises and personnel in Canada.”
On Thursday, Trudeau said that he held a “good discussion” with PM Modi on many important issues, including on the “two nations’ commitment to democratic principles, recent protests, and the importance of resolving issues through dialogue”, a statement from the Canadian government said.
“I had a good discussion with Prime Minister @NarendraModi on many important issues, and we’ve agreed to stay in touch,” Trudeau had tweeted.
“The leaders discussed Canada and India’s commitment to democratic principles, recent protests, and the importance of resolving issues through dialogue,” the Canadian Prime Minister’s office said in a statement. However, the reference to “recent protests” was not part of the Indian government’s readout of the telephone conversation held between Prime Minister Modi and Trudeau on Wednesday.
Eye on Sikh voters
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has a large and influential Sikh diaspora as a political constituency — his comments on farmers' protests in December stem from that. His reiteration of this, regarding the phone call he had with Modi, is aimed at consolidating the constituency.
In his tweet on Wednesday about the conversation, Modi had said, “Was happy to receive a call from my friend @JustinTrudeau. Assured him that India would do its best to facilitate supplies of COVID vaccines sought by Canada. We also agreed to continue collaborating on other important issues like Climate Change and the global economic recovery.”
In December, Trudeau’s statement on the farmers’ protests had led to New Delhi summoning the Canadian envoy and warning that such “actions” could have a “seriously damaging impact” on bilateral ties. It had also slammed the “ill-informed comments” on the “internal affairs of a democratic country”.
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