PM Justin Trudeau, PM Narendra Modi discuss terror; India, Canada ink six pacts

India and Canada on Friday held extensive talks, exploring ways to boost ties in several key areas, including trade and energy, and later inked six pacts.

PM Justin Trudeau, PM Narendra Modi discuss terror; India, Canada ink six pacts

New Delhi: Visiting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday following which the two sides inked six crucial pacts to boost trade and bilateral ties further.

The two sides held extensive talks, exploring ways to boost ties in several key areas, including trade and energy.

India and Canada later inked six pacts including, including one on energy cooperation.

Addressing a joint press briefing with Trudeau, PM Narendra Modi said, ''Your visit was long awaited, we are happy that you visited along with your family.''

''We discussed many issues including deference operation. Terrorism and extremism are a threat to countries like ours and to fight these elements it is important for us to come together,'' PM Modi said.

The Prime Minister also called on the need to combat the menace of terrorism together.

''It is important that we work together to fight terrorism,'' PM Narendra Modi said after holding talks with Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau.

''Those who challenge our sovereignty and territorial integrity cannot be tolerated,'' PM Modi said at a joint press meet with Trudeau, adding, ''There should no place for those who misuse religion for political goals.''. 

Hailing Canada, the Prime Minister said, ''Canada is an important destination for Indian students when it comes to higher education, more than 1 lakh 20 thousand of our students are there. We renewed our MoU on higher education which will enhance the exchange in terms of higher education.''

''Canada is an energy super-power, it can fulfill our increasing energy demands,'' PM Modi said.

On his turn, Trudeau said, '' We share not only rich a history but a set of values that encourage a natural friendship between our two countries.''

''As Canada looks to diversify its own economy and looks for new opportunities to do business beyond its boundaries, India is a natural partner and a trusted friend for commercial cooperation,'' Trudeau said.

Earlier, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had called on the Canadian Prime Minister and discussed various issues of mutual interest.

"Picture speaks for itself! EAM @SushmaSwaraj had a warm meeting with the Prime Minister of Canada @JustinTrudeau and discussed ways to strengthen and deepen our partnership," Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had tweeted and posted a picture of the two leaders.

Trudeau was earlier accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had welcomed his Canadian counterpart with a hug ahead of a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, putting to rest speculations about the government cold-shouldering the visiting dignitary.

After Trudeau, his wife Sophie, and children Xavier, Ella-Grace and Hadrien, alighted from a car on the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Modi shook hands with Trudeau and then hugged him.

On Thursday evening, breaking his silence since the Canadian Prime Minister`s arrival in India on February 17, PM Modi said that he looked forward to the bilateral meeting on February 23 (Friday).

"I appreciate his (Trudeau`s) deep commitment to ties between our two countries," Modi tweeted.

At the Rashtrapati Bhavan, while Modi shook hands with Sophie Trudeau, Xavier and little Hadrien, he had a special hug reserved for Elle-Grace.

On Thursday, the PM had posted a picture of him playfully tweaking Elle-Grace`s ears with Trudeau smilingly looking on during a visit to Canada in 2015.

"I particularly look forward to meeting his children Xavier, Ella-Grace, and Hadrien," Modi said in his tweet.

Hadrien, who will turn four this month, was the cynosure of all eyes at the Rashtrapati Bhavan as he stumbled and struggled to hold on to his hat as Modi playfully stroked his cheeks.

The ceremonial reception optics came after much speculation that Modi and his government was cold-shouldering Trudeau during his eight-day state visit to India. 

The visiting dignitary and his family have since visited Agra, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Amritsar.

While Modi did not accompany Trudeau to Ahmedabad, a meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in Amritsar on Wednesday was organised only at the last moment.

Ties between New Delhi and Ottawa have been frosty of late as Canada was being seen as offering a platform to separatists demanding an independent Khalistan.

On Thursday, a fresh storm blew after it came to light that the Canadian High Commission here had extended an invitation to a convicted Khalistan separatist, Jaspal Atwal, for a reception in honour of Trudeau.

The High Commission then rescinded the invitation while the Indian External Affairs Ministry said that it was ascertaining how a visa was issued to Atwal who holds a Canadian passport.

Trudeau later said that the matter was being taken "extremely seriously" and that Atwal should never have received an invitation.

The visit of Trudeau, who assumed office in November 2015, comes after the visit of Modi to Canada in April that year.

Following Friday`s bilateral summit between the two leaders, a number of agreements were expected to be signed.

(With Agency inputs)

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