The objective of seven-day visit was to expand overall ties between the two countries with a focus on defence and security, counter-terror cooperation, trade and investment, tackling climate change and enhancing cooperation in the civil nuclear sector.
Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau was on a state visit to India from February 17 to 25, along with his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and three children. He was accompanied by a delegation of ministers including Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains, Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan, Science and Sports Minister Kirsty Duncan and Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi. The objective of seven-day visit was to expand overall ties between the two countries with a focus on defence and security, counter-terror cooperation, trade and investment, tackling climate change and enhancing cooperation in the civil nuclear sector.
The visiting minister met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and held extensive talks on key issues of counter-terrorism, extremism and ways to boost trade ties. Thereafter, the two sides signed six agreements including a pact on energy cooperation. “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,” Trudeau added.
The Canadian PM had a one-on-one meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in Amritsar who brought up the Khalistan issue and handed Trudeau a list of Canada-based operatives allegedly involved in promoting radicalism in Punjab. During the meeting, Trudeau assured Singh of Canada not supporting “any separatist movement” in India and elsewhere while referring to a movement in the Canadian state of Quebec. Singh also expressed Punjab’s keenness to engage with Canada in the fields of higher education, scientific research, technology, innovation and skill development. Trudeau met the former deputy chief minister of Punjab and president of the Shiromani Akali Dal Sukhbir Singh Badal and Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
The Prime Minister paid a visit to Mumbai and held meetings with top business leaders and representatives of Indian Film industry to explore various opportunities in the field of cinema.
While Trudeau’s visit was intended to strengthen bilateral relations between Canada and India, the diplomatic engagement has been termed as “unsuccessful” by political observers around the globe.