Irked with Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s remarks on farmers' protest, Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has decided to skip the Canada-led meeting on coronavirus, The Indian Express reported on Sunday.
According to a report by the Indian Express, officially, India has cited scheduling issues as the reason for not attending the meeting and said that that it would not be correct to link the matter with Trudeau’s comments and the subsequent developments.
Since March 15, Canadian Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne has been having video call meetings with his counterpart from various nations. Interestingly, on November 3, Jaishankar took part in the 11th such call of the ministerial coordination group on COVID-19 hosted by Canada.
Despite India's warning to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over his earlier remarks on farmers' protests, the PM has once again commented that he "will always stand up for the right of peaceful protests".
Speaking at a press conference after the External Affairs Ministry issued a demarche to Canadian High Commissioner, Trudeau on Saturday said, "Canada will always stand up for the right of peaceful protests anywhere around the world."
On Friday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) issued a demarche to Canadian High Commissioner, saying that the remarks made by the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, some Cabinet Ministers and Members of Parliament on Indian farmers' protest will have "seriously damaging impact on ties between India and Canada".
According to an official statement issued by the MEA, "The Canadian High Commissioner was summoned to the Ministry of External Affairs today and informed that comments by the Canadian Prime Minister, some Cabinet Ministers and Members of Parliament on issues relating to Indian farmers constitute an unacceptable interference in our internal affairs." Such actions, if continued, would have a seriously damaging impact on ties between India and Canada, the Ministry further said.
On December 1, India reacted sharply to the "ill-informed" comments by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on farmers' protests in India and said the remarks are "unwarranted" especially when pertaining to internal affairs of a democratic country.