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India-Canada Trade Talks Halted Due to ‘Political Challenges’

Canadian Trade Minister Mary Ng has decided to postpone a trade mission to India scheduled for October, a move attributed to the escalating diplomatic tensions between the two nations. This decision comes shortly after a strained encounter between India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and his Canadian counterpart, Justin Trudeau, during the G20 summit in New Delhi. During the summit, PM Modi allowed only a brief, informal meeting with Trudeau, signaling the strained relations.

Shanti Cosentino, a spokesperson for the Canadian minister, confirmed the postponement, refraining from providing a specific reason for this abrupt change in plans.

One major point of contention in the India-Canada relationship is Canada’s significant Sikh population, the largest outside of Punjab in India. Canada has been a focal point for protests that have perturbed India, with accusations of promoting secessionism and inciting violence against Indian diplomats, as well as damage to diplomatic facilities and threats to the Indian community and their places of worship.

As a result of these tensions, India has declared a pause in trade talks with Canada, a move that echoes Canada’s earlier announcement this month, citing the need to “take stock.” It’s worth noting that just four months ago, both nations had expressed the intention to finalize an initial trade agreement this year, indicating a significant shift in their relationship.


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