PM Modi holds separate conversations with President Biden, Canadian PM Trudeau

15 June,2024 08:52 AM IST |  Bari, Italy  |  PTI

Nijjar, who was declared a terrorist by India, was shot dead outside a gurdwara in British Columbia in Surrey on June 18 last year

US President Joe Biden (R) talks with India`s Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) as they pose for a family photo with G7 heads of States and heads of delegation of Outreach countries at Borgo Egnazia resort during the G7 Summit hosted by Italy, in Savelletri. Pic/AFP

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday held a brief conversation with his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau amid strain in bilateral ties over the case relating to the killing of Khalistani extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Modi also held a separate conversation with US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the summit of G7 advanced economies in Italy's Apulia region.

"It's always a pleasure to meet @POTUS @JoeBiden. India and USA will keep working together to further global good," Modi posted on X. "Met Canadian PM @JustinTrudeau at the G7 Summit," Modi said on 'X'. Both Modi and Trudeau were seen warmly greeting each other during the encounter. It is not immediately known what transpired between Modi and Trudeau. The ties between the two countries came under severe strain following Trudeau's allegations in September last year of a "potential" involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Nijjar in British Columbia. New Delhi rejected Trudeau's charges as "absurd" and "motivated."

India has been maintaining that the main issue between the two countries is that of Canada giving space to pro-Khalistan elements operating from Canadian soil with impunity. Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra on Wednesday said India's main issue with Canada continues to be the political space that Ottawa provides to anti-India elements which advocate extremism and violence. India has repeatedly conveyed its "deep concerns" to Canada and New Delhi expects Ottawa to take strong action against those elements, he said.

Nijjar, who was declared a terrorist by India, was shot dead outside a gurdwara in British Columbia in Surrey on June 18 last year. The murder is being probed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Days after Trudeau's allegations last year, India asked Ottawa to downsize its diplomatic presence in the country to ensure parity. Canada subsequently withdrew 41 diplomats and their family members from India.

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