Canada PM Trudeau lauded PM Modi govt’s approach for dialogue with farmers: MEA

NEW DELHIWritten By: Sidhant SibalUpdated: Feb 12, 2021, 09:46 PM IST
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The Foreign Office on Friday said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in his telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, had spoken approvingly of New Delhi’s handling of the farmers’ protests.

The Ministry of external affairs (MEA) has confirmed farmers' issues was discussed PM Modi and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau's talks with the latter "commended" New Delhi's efforts "to choose the path of dialogue as befitting in democracy".

Both leaders had spoken to each other earlier this week. The readout of the Canadian Govt said that Justin Trudeau had raised the farmers' issue with PM Modi. It said that the leaders discussed "Canada and India’s commitment to democratic principles, recent protests, and the importance of resolving issues through dialogue"

In December, the Canadian PM had commented on the ongoing farmers' protests in India angering New Delhi. The matter was raised in both Ottawa and Delhi, with MEA summoning the Canadian Envoy to India Nadir Patel and handing over a strong demarche.  New Delhi had conveyed to Canada that such comments pertaining to the internal affairs of India are "unwarranted and unacceptable" and could impact ties.

India is increasingly worried about the Khalistani elements in Canadian society, something that also threatens the safety of its diplomats.  The MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said during the talks, Canadian PM "acknowledged the responsibility of his Government in providing protection to Indian diplomatic premises and personnel in Canada.”  Recent weeks have seen protests by these elements, including anti-India campaigns by Canadian national Mo Dhaliwal, who was responsible for a "toolkit" that was tweeted by climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Covid vaccine was the key focus of the talks, with Indian PM assuring Canada of vaccines. PMO readout said, "Prime Minister assured the Canadian PM that India would do its best to support Canada's vaccination efforts, just as it had done for many other countries already."

The readout highlighted, "expressing his appreciation", Prime Minister Trudeau said that "if the world managed to conquer COVID-19, it would be significantly because of India's tremendous pharmaceutical capacity," and Prime Minister Modi's "leadership in sharing this capacity with the world.  Prime Minister thanked PM Trudeau for his sentiments."

While the Canadian readout wasn't very explicit about Canada's vaccine request, it lauded India saying, "Prime Minister Trudeau and Prime Minister Modi spoke about India's significant efforts in promoting vaccine production and supply, which have provided vital support to countries around the world." 

India has so far supplied 229.7 lakh doses of COVID vaccines to global community. Of these,64.7 lakh doses have been supplied as grants (gift) while 165 lakh doses have been supplied on a commercial basis. 

New Delhi has gifted vaccines to 13 countries, which are Bangladesh (20 Lakhs), Myanmar (17 Lakhs), Nepal (10 Lakhs), Bhutan (1.5 Lakhs), Maldives (1 Lakh), Mauritius (1 Lakh), Seychelles (50000), Sri Lanka ( 5 Lakhs), Bahrain (1 Lakh), Oman (1 lakh), Afghanistan (5 Lakhs), Barbados (1 Lakh) and Dominica (70000). 

It has sent vaccines to 9 countries on a commercial basis. These are Brazil (20 Lakhs), Morocco (60 Lakhs), Bangladesh (50 lakhs), Myanmar (20 lakhs), Egypt (50000), Algeria (50000), South Africa (10 Lakhs), Kuwait (2 Lakhs) and UAE (2 Lakhs).