Canada’s Trudeau Dials Modi, But Their Versions of the Call Differ
Did India’s farmer protests find a mention in the call? According to Canada, “recent protests” were discussed.
Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called up Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, 10 February, and the two leaders had a discussion on COVID-19 vaccines as well their efforts to fight the challenge thrown up by the pandemic. However, the press releases from the two countries about the conversation differ in their version of the events.
WHAT DID INDIA SAY ABOUT THE CALL?
An official statement from India’s Ministry of External Affairs said that Trudeau informed Modi about Canada's requirement for COVID-19 vaccines from India. “Prime Minister assured the Canadian PM that India would do its best to support Canada's vaccination efforts, just as it had done for many other countries already,” the statement from the MEA said.
PM Modi also tweeted about the conversation with PM Trudeau.
According to MEA, Prime Minister Trudeau said that “if the world managed to conquer COVID-19, it would be significantly because of India’s tremendous pharmaceutical capacity, and Prime Minister Modi’s leadership in sharing this capacity with the world.”
Further, India’s MEA said that the two leaders also spoke about the “common perspective shared by India and Canada on many important geo-political issues” and “agreed to continue the close collaboration between both the countries in fighting global challenges like climate change and the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
WHAT DID CANADA SAY ABOUT THE CALL?
As stated before, Canada’s version of events about the conversation holds significant differences.
According to a press release by the Canadian government, “Prime Minister Trudeau and Prime Minister Modi spoke about India's significant efforts in promoting vaccine production and supply, which have provided vital support to countries around the world.”
The “two leaders agreed to work together on access to vaccines,” it added.
Further, significantly, the statement from Canada mentioned that PM Modi and PM Trudeau discussed the two countries’ “commitment to democratic principles, recent protests, and the importance of resolving issues through dialogue,” in what appears to be a reference to the farmers’ protests in India, something which lacks mention in the MEA’s statement.
Canada further said that during the telephone call, the two PMs discussed their “respective efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, protect the health and safety of their people, and provide economic support for their citizens.”
“The two prime ministers reaffirmed their common interests in a free and open Indo-Pacific, and the importance of working together on global challenges such as climate change, strengthening global trade, and reinforcing the rules-based international order,” the statement added.
“They underlined the need to work collectively in rebuilding a more sustainable and resilient global economy,” the statement from Canada added.
The two prime ministers also discussed the importance of the Canada-India strategic partnership “anchored in shared values, strong people-to-people ties, and growing bilateral economic cooperation.”
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