Trudeau touches down in India for week-long state visit

Published February 18, 2018
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his wife Gregoire Trudeau and his children arrive at Air Force Station Palam in New Delhi on February 17, 2018. ─ AFP
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his wife Gregoire Trudeau and his children arrive at Air Force Station Palam in New Delhi on February 17, 2018. ─ AFP

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family, accompanied by a delegation of cabinet ministers, arrived in New Delhi on Saturday evening on a week-long state visit to India, Indian media reported.

Trudeau, his wife, Sophie, and their three children were greeted at Indira Gandi International Airport by Minister of State for Agriculture Gajendra Singh and Indian Ambassador to Canada Vikas Swarup, NDTV reported.

Interestingly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi ─ who last year broke protocol to greet United Arab Emirates’ Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the airport, and also received Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife at the airport in January ─ has yet to meet the Canadian PM.

The Trudeaus went sightseeing at the Taj Mahal in Agra on Sunday.

On Monday, the Canadian PM will fly to Gujarat and pay a visit to the Sabarmati Ashram. He is also expected to visit the Akshardham Temple in Gujarat. Additionally, he will lead a discussion on education and investment opportunities at the Indian Institute of Management, NDTV reported.

On Wednesday, Feb 21, Trudeau will visit Amritsar's Golden Temple. On Thursday, he is expected to visit Delhi's Jama Mosque and deliver a lecture at a gathering of Canadian and Indian business leaders, Indian Express reported.

Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie arrive at Air Force Station Palam in New Delhi on February 17, 2018. ─ AFP
Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie arrive at Air Force Station Palam in New Delhi on February 17, 2018. ─ AFP

Trudeau will also make visits to Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Amritsar.

The two prime ministers will meet on Feb 23 for wide-ranging talks, prior to which there will be a formal ceremony for Trudeau.

"Wheels up for India and a busy visit, focused on creating good jobs and strengthening the deep connection between the people of our two countries," Trudeau had tweeted on Friday before departing for India.

The Canadian PM said the trip was focused on creating jobs and strengthening the "deep connection" between the people of both countries, according to NDTV. The trip is being seen as outreach to the 1.4 million citizens of Indian-origin settled in Canada.

According to a statement issued by India's Ministry of External Affairs published by The Indian Express, the visit is aimed at further strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries in key areas of mutual interest including trade and investment, energy, science and innovation, higher education, infrastructure development, skill development and space. Cooperation in security and counter-terrorism as well as exchange of views on global and regional issues of mutual interest will also form important components of the visit.

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