Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – who was in India to attend the weekend’s G20 Summit – has left the country, over 48 hours after he was scheduled to leave. Mr Trudeau’s plane had been grounded with technical issues on Sunday evening, shortly before he was to leave the country, requiring him to return to his hotel in central Delhi and await a replacement.
The second plane – routed via Italy – was to land at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi airport later today but that was then diverted to the United Kingdom. No reason was given for the unscheduled diversion, United States broadcaster CBS News said.
Fortunately for Mr Trudeau, his first plane has now been fixed and he is now on his way home. “The technical issue with the plane has now been resolved. The plane has been cleared to fly…” a statement from his office said.
He was seen off by Union Minister of State Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who posted on X (formerly Twitter),” On behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and my colleagues in the government, I was at the airport today to thank Mr Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, for his presence at the G20 Summit, and wished him and his entourage a safe trip back home.”
On behalf of PM @narendramodi Ji and my colleagues in govt, I was at the airport today to thank Mr. Justin Trudeau, Hon’ble Prime Minister of Canada @JustinTrudeau for his presence at the #G20Summit and wished him and his entourage a safe trip back home. 🇮🇳 🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/8gEg694YCs
— Rajeev Chandrasekhar 🇮🇳 (@Rajeev_GoI) September 12, 2023
It is still not clear what happened to the Canadian PM’s plane; on Monday his office would only say the “issues are not fixable overnight” and that “the situation remains fluid”. “The Canadian Armed Forces continue their best efforts to get the Canadian delegation home. Their latest update shows an earliest possible departure of Tuesday late afternoon,” his office had said.
Mr Trudeau’s delayed departure has been seen as awkward given criticism of his government over its handing of Khalistan terrorists and sympathisers in his country.
On Sunday, India expressed “strong concerns about continuing anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada”.
“The nexus of such forces with organised crime, drug syndicates and human trafficking should be a concern for Canada as well,” the ministry said. “It is essential for the two countries to cooperate in dealing with such threats.”
Relations between the nations have been tense; in fact, the leaders did not hold a formal bilateral at the summit. They did, however, have a brief conversation – one in which they discussed foreign interference and “respect for the rule of law”, Mr Trudeau said.
India has characterised a June protest outside its High Commission in Ottawa as an “attack” and its anti-terror agency is investigating the incident.
“Actions Of A Few…”: Justin Trudeau
Mr Trudeau said his country “will always defend freedom of expression… of conscience… of peaceful protest and it is extremely important to us. At the same time, we are always there to prevent violence and push back against hatred.”
“On the issue of the community, it is important to remember the actions of the few do not represent Canada. The flip side of it, we also highlighted the importance of respecting the rule of law and we did talk about foreign interference,” he added.