Trudeau discusses climate change, Indo-Pacific, Ukraine crisis with PM Modi

Narendra Modi during a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau | ANI

Elmau (Germany): Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on the margins of the G-7 Summit here and discussed a wide-range of issues including cooperation on climate change, the COVID-19 and in ensuing a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region besides the Ukraine crisis, his office said on Tuesday.

Modi and Trudeau met at Schloss Elmau, the picturesque venue of the summit in southern Germany, on Monday.

The leaders welcomed the growing trade relationship between Canada and India, as well as the longstanding people-to-people ties between the two countries, Prime Minister Trudeau's office said in a statement.

"The prime ministers also discussed cooperation on climate change and the environment, the development of renewable energy sources, the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in the free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region," it said.

The two leaders exchanged views on pressing issues discussed at the G7, including the pandemic response, resilient democracies, and food security. They also discussed Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the statement added.

India, the US and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China's rising military manoeuvring in the region.

The two Prime Ministers also discussed opportunities for enhanced cooperation between Canada and India, both bilaterally and at the G20.

On Monday, Modi had said that he reviewed the full range of India-Canada ties during the fruitful meeting with Trudeau. "There is immense scope to boost cooperation in sectors like trade, culture and agriculture," Modi had tweeted.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said that the two leaders discussed bilateral ties and agreed to expand trade and economic linkages, cooperation in security and counter-terrorism as well as people-to people ties.

As leaders of robust democracies with shared values, they had a productive meeting, a press release issued by the external affairs ministry had said.

"They also exchanged views on global and regional issues of mutual interest," it added.

It was the first in-person bilateral meeting between the two leaders in over four years.

Trudeau had visited India in February 2018 during which he held bilateral talks with Modi.

This was also the first meeting between the two leaders since Trudeau, who had backed the agitating farmers in India, had said that Canada will always be there to defend the rights of peaceful protests, and had expressed concern over the situation.

His remarks had angered India which summoned the Canadian High Commissioner in New Delhi and told him that such comments constituted an "unacceptable interference" in the country's internal affairs and these actions, if continued, will have a "seriously damaging" impact on the bilateral ties. Canada has a significant number of Indians, mostly from Punjab.

In February 2021, Trudeau reached out to Prime Minister Modi and requested a shipment of Covid-19 vaccines from India, which sent a consignment of Covishield to Canada a month later.

Trudeau had lauded India and said that if the world managed to conquer COVID-19, it would be significant because of India's tremendous pharmaceutical capacity, and Prime Minister Modi's leadership in sharing this capacity with the world.

The bilateral trade stood at USD 12.4 billion in 2021. Over 600 Canadian companies have presence in India while Indian companies in Canada are active in the fields of information technology, natural resources, steel and banking. The negotiations for comprehensive economic partnership between the two sides resumed in April 2022. PTI

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