Canadian Minister postpones trade mission to India amid diplomatic tensions | Mint – Mint

Canadian Trade Minister Mary Ng is postponing a trade mission to India planned for October, an official said on Friday, reflecting increasingly tense diplomatic relations. This came days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi scolded his Canadian counterpart at a G20 summit in New Delhi.
Shanti Cosentino, a spokesperson for the minister said, “At this time, we are postponing the upcoming trade mission to India”, according to a report published by Reuters. 
PM Modi who held formal bilateral meetings with many world leaders during the G20 summit, snubbed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, allowing only a short, informal meeting on the sidelines five days ago.
Canada has the highest population of Sikhs outside their home state of Punjab in India, and the country has been the site of many protests that have irked India.
After the leaders meeting, the Indian government said, “They are promoting secessionism and inciting violence against Indian diplomats, damaging diplomatic premises and threatening the Indian community in Canada and their places of worship.”
India on Friday said it had paused trade talks with Canada. Canada made a similar announcement earlier this month, saying such a pause was needed to “take stock”, Reuters reported. 
Only about four months ago the two nations said they aimed to seal an initial trade agreement this year.
Meanwhile, the negotiations between India and Canada on the free trade agreement (FTA), which resumed after a decade, have come to a halt due to political concerns. 
Without citing the Khalistan issue, which created differences between the two countries, the official said negotiations will resume once the “political issues” are resolved.
“There were certain political developments in Canada on which India has raised its objections. India has shown its resentment against certain political developments in Canada and, therefore, for the time being, till these political issues are settled, we have paused negotiations,” the official said.
Over half a dozen rounds of talks have been held between the countries on the trade pact so far. In March 2022, the two countries re-launched negotiations for an interim agreement—the Early Progress Trade Agreement (EPTA).
(With Reuters inputs)
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