External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will not participate in the next Canada-led meeting of foreign ministers to strategise tackling COVID-19, amid controversy over Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s comments on the ongoing farmers protests.
According to The Print, the Ministry of External Affairs has told their Canadian counterpart that the minister will not be available for 7 December meet due to "scheduling issues." Jaishankar had participated in the meeting held on 3 November, and had taken to social media to post about the same.
Pleased to participate in the Group of Foreign Ministers Meeting to exchange experiences on COVID-related challenges. Thank FM @FP_Champagne of Canada for convening the meeting. pic.twitter.com/5KxSmsFbf3
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) November 3, 2020
Amid intensifying protests by farmers against three contentious laws, the MEA on 4 December said the Canadian High Commissioner was summoned and “informed that comments made by the Canadian Prime Minister (Justin Trudeau), some Cabinet ministers and members of Parliament on issues relating to Indian farmers constitute an unacceptable interference in our internal affairs.”
Rallies Erupt in Canada Against Farm Laws
Multiple protests and rallies are being organised in Canada, including one in Ottawa and Hamilton.
A social media post of the ‘Ottawa Kisan Rally’, to be held on 5 December, reads: “It is your time to stand united and show your support.”
A "Kissan Dharna Car Rally", organised in support of farmers, will end outside the Indian consulate.
What Did Trudeau Say
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has become the first international head of government to speak out on the protests by farmers in India against the Narendra Modi government's new farm laws.
"“The situation is concerning. We are all very worried about family and friends. We know that’s a reality for many of you. Let me remind you, Canada will always be there to defend the rights of peaceful protesters. We believe in the process of dialogue. We’ve reached out through multiple means to the Indian authorities to highlight our concerns. This is a moment for all of us to pull together.”"
Responding to Trudeau’s remarks, India’s external affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, “We have seen some ill-informed comments by Canadian leaders relating to farmers in India. Such comments are unwarranted, especially when pertaining to the internal affairs of a democratic country.”
(With inputs from The Print)
. Read more on India by The Quint.DMK MPs Object To PM Holding COVID-19 Meeting Entirely in HindiFarmers Protest: EAM to Skip Canada-led Meet Post Trudeau’s Remark . Read more on India by The Quint.