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Last Updated : Dec 04, 2018 10:13 AM IST | Source:

India-Canada relations at 'standstill' since Trudeau's controversial visit 9 months ago: Report

In February, Trudeau had received a lukewarm welcome by the Indian government during his visit

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India and Canada's bilateral relationship has been on a 'standstill' for the last nine months since Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's controversial visit to India.

The two sides have not held any ministerial-level engagements in the past nine months, according to a report by the Hindustan Times.

A senior official told the news daily that the situation may not change for another year as the Lok Sabha elections are scheduled for April-May 2019 and the Canadian federal elections will be held in October 2019.

"It will be up to the new government to bring the relationship back on track," an Indian official was quoted as saying.

Expected bilateral visits at ministerial levels have also been cancelled during these nine months.

Minister of Commerce Suresh Prabhu was expected to visit Canada in September. Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari was expected to embark on a similar visit to the North American country. But these trips never took place.

Multiple attempts to hold a high-level bilateral meeting between Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and her Canadian counterpart Chrystia Freeland have failed, the news daily reported. Canadian Minister of Environment Catherine McKenna's visit to India has also been called off.

In February, Trudeau had received a lukewarm welcome by the Indian government during his visit. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had not received Trudeau at the airport, as he had previously done with state leaders like Shinzo Abe, Barack Obama, Xi Jinping and Benjamin Netanyahu.

Speculation at the time of the visit was that the Centre had decided to "cold shoulder" Trudeau because two of the four Sikh members in his cabinet — Harjit Sajjan and Amarjeet Sohi — allegedly supported the Khalistan movement.

Speaking at the Parliamentary Press Gallery Dinner in May, Trudeau mocked his visit to India by talking about various aspects of the tour in front of a packed audience.

"That's it, in terms of this year. Nothing else happened. Nothing at all. We didn't go to India," Trudeau said. "I don’t remember the India trip. I think to myself we should really go to India sometime, the same way I say to myself we should have a Highlander 2 sometime, because that was such a great movie."
First Published on Dec 4, 2018 10:13 am
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