EAM S Jaishankar to skip Canada-led COVID-19 meet amid Justin Trudeau’s remarks on farmers’ protest
Rohit Kumar, Editor: External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr. S Jaishankar will likely skip a Canada-led meeting COVID-19 crisis on December 7 amid Justin Trudeau’s remarks on the ongoing farmers’ protest in India.
Though an official confirmation is awaited, media reports suggest that the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has informed Canadian authorities that Jaishankar won’t be able to attend the meet on December 7 because of “scheduling issues”.
Reports suggest that Jaishankar is “extremely upset” over Trudeau’s remarks on farmers’ protest and has decided to skip the meeting to show his displeasure.
Meanwhile, India on Saturday summoned Canadian High Commissioner and said that Trudeau’s remarks constituted an “unacceptable interference” in India’s internal affairs and these actions, if continued, will have a “seriously damaging” impact on the bilateral ties.
“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,” the MEA said in a statement.
“We expect the Canadian government to ensure the fullest security of Indian diplomatic personnel and its political leaders to refrain from pronouncements that legitimize extremist activism,” it added.
Trudeau, however, is firm on his support to farmers in India and said that his government will always stand up for peaceful protests and human rights.
Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, are protesting along the borders of Delhi against the newly enacted farm acts. They claim that the acts are “anti-farmer” and have demanded the government to withdraw them immediately. The government, however, has maintained that the new acts will bring farmers better opportunities and usher in new technologies in agriculture.