April 13, 2024

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Justin Trudeau Joins the Virtual G20 Summit Amid Diplomatic Tensions with India

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is slated to partake in the virtual G20 leaders’ summit hosted by India on November 22, marking the first diplomatic engagement between the two countries in over two months. The strained bilateral relationship became evident during Trudeau’s meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. Trudeau emphasised the importance of upholding the rule of law and democratic principles during that meeting. The virtual G20 summit will delve into discussions around the Delhi Declaration, which was adopted at the in-person summit held in September. This virtual event serves as the concluding meeting under India’s G20 presidency, set to end this month.

Diplomatic tensions escalated after Trudeau’s statement in the House of Commons, where he presented “credible allegations” of a potential connection between Indian agents and the killing of Khalistani figure Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia. This led to the expulsion of diplomats from both nations, India’s suspension of visa issuance to Canadians, and a reciprocal “mass expulsion” of Canadian diplomats from India.

The strained relations have introduced uncertainty regarding the “Early Progress Trade Agreement (EPTA)” between India and Canada. Canada has shifted its focus in the relationship towards securing New Delhi’s cooperation in the investigation into Nijjar’s killing, adding complexity to trade discussions.

Despite these diplomatic challenges, Trudeau’s participation in the virtual G20 summit signifies a renewed engagement between the two nations. The summit aims to deliberate on the Delhi Declaration, address global challenges, and foster collaboration among G20 member countries. As the virtual event unfolds, it presents an opportunity for diplomatic dialogue and potential areas of cooperation, allowing both countries to navigate through their recent differences and find common ground on international issues.