Govt Denies Perceived Snub To Canada PM Justin Trudeau

| February 20 , 2018 , 09:13 IST

The lukewarm reception of Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family to India on February 17 raised concerns, especially amidst Canadian media, that Trudeau was being snubbed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The government has clarified that PM Modi not meeting PM Trudeau at the airport on his arrival was not a snub, and that it was the insistence of Canada that Trudeau's official engagements begin at the end of the week-long trip to India.

The 7-day visit of Canadian PM Trudeau, along with his wife and 3 kids, is the longest visit in recent times by a head of government, and began with a tourist visit to the famous Taj Mahal.

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Earlier reports had suggested, that due to PM Trudeau's perceived pro-Khalistan stance, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh would not be meeting him during the Canadian PM's trip to Amritsar to visit the Golden Temple.

However, in a tweet, Capt Singh confirmed that he would be meeting with PM Trudeau on Wednesday.

"Look forward to meeting Canadian Prime Minister @JustinTrudeau in Amritsar on Wednesday. I’m hopeful that this meeting will help strengthen the close Indo-Canadian business ties as well as the deep-rooted people-to-people relations between our two countries," tweeted the Punjab CM.

Regarding the absence of PM Modi at the airport to welcome Trudeau and his family to India, official sources said that the Prime Minister going to welcome a leader at the airport was a "departure from protocol" and a special gesture from the PM accorded to a few leaders only.

"Really don’t understand the point here as the PM didn’t even receive Chinese President Xi Jinping at the airport," an official said to TOI.

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So far, PM Modi has only personally received former US President Barack Obama, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu at the airport.

Official meetings between the Canadian PM and PM Modi are scheduled for Friday. While official sources say that India had suggested completing official engagements in Delhi before travelling to other cities, it was the decision of Trudeau and his officials to complete the other visits first.