New Delhi, Feb 23: Prime Minister Narendra Modi received Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, who is on a 7-day visit to India, and his family at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Friday amid a controversy over a Sikh separatist being invited to dine with the latter. Earlier in the day, Trudeau was accorded Guard of Honour.
On Thursday, PM Modi said he looks forward to holding talks with his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau today to further strengthen relations between the two nations.
“I look forward to meeting PM @JustinTrudeau tomorrow and holding talks on further strengthening India-Canada relations in all spheres. I appreciate his deep commitment to ties between our two countries,” Modi tweeted.
Prime Minister 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, the speculation has been strongly rejected by the government sources, insisting normal diplomatic protocol has been extended to Trudeau.
“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,” the PM said in another tweet. He also posted a picture from his 2015 Canada visit when he had met Trudeau and Ella-Grace.
Trudeau came under fire on Thursday after a convicted former member of a Sikh separatist group, Jaspal Atwal, was invited to dine with the Canadian PM Canada’s High Commissioner to India. Trudeau later said, “Obviously, we take this extremely seriously. He should never have received an invitation. As soon as we received the information we rescinded it, a member of Parliament had included this individual.”
Atwal was convicted of cabinet minister Malkait Singh Sidhu’s murder in 1986 on Vancouver Island.