PM Modi welcomes Justin Trudeau via tweet, says looking forward to meet him

twitter-logo   New Delhi     Last Updated: February 22, 2018  | 23:37 IST
PM Modi welcomes Justin Trudeau via tweet, says looking forward to meet him

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has finally welcomed his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau five days after the latter arrived in India through a tweet. PM Modi took to Twitter saying that he is looking forward to meeting the Canadian PM on Friday. Trudeau arrived in India for his first state visit with his wife and three children.

"I look forward to meeting PM JustinTrudeau tomorrow and holding talks on further strengthening India-Canada relations in all spheres. I appreciate his deep commitment to ties between our two countries," PM Modi said in a tweet.

In a following tweet, Modi wished that Trudeau and his family had enjoyed their stay so far and said he particularly looks forward to meet the three children of the Canadian PM. The tweet was accompanied by a picture of Modi with Trudeau and his daughter Ella-Grace, taken during his 2015 Canada visit.

"I hope PM JustinTrudeau and his family had a very enjoyable stay so far. I particularly look forward to meeting his children Xavier, Ella-Grace, and Hadrien. Here is a picture from my 2015 Canada visit, when I'd met PM Trudeau and Ella-Grace".

The tweets come in the wake of speculations that Delhi is giving a cold shoulder to Trudeau during his visit. By now, the Canadian PM had visited Agra, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Amritsar, but not a word had been heard from Modi. He didn't even accompany Trudeau to Ahmedabad like he usually does with other state guests.

Matters have remained tense between Indian and Canada over the latter's alleged support to Khalistan separatists. During his Amritsar stay, Trudeau reportedly received a list of nine operatives in Canada from Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. According to a report by India Today, the persons in the list have been involved in hate crimes in Punjab by financing and supplying weapons for terrorist activities, and also engaged in trying to radicalise youth and children in the state.

An invite to Khalistani terrorist Jaspal Atwal by the Canadian High Commissioner to India for a dinner party in Trudeau's honour stood to make things worse, before the invitation was cancelled. The incident was termed unfortunate by the Canadian leader, who has clarified in the past that Canada does not support Khalistani separatists.

"Canadian side has already clarified that the invitation has been withdrawn. About the visa, I don't know how it happened. We will ascertain from our Commission," the MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said.

Atwal was convicted for 20 years in prison for trying to kill the then Punjab Cabinet Minister Malkiat Singh Sidhu in Vancouver in 1986. Atwal even had confessed that he was the shooter. He was also a member of the now banned International Sikh Youth Federation.

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