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Justin Trudeau confirms attendance at Virtual G20 summit amid India-Canada diplomatic stand-off

Ontaria [Canada]: Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will participate in the virtual G20 Leaders' Summit, hosted by India. The Canadian Prime Minister's officer released Trudeau's schedule for Wednesday which has him joining in the meeting virtually

Trudeau's attendance in the virtual meeting comes amidst a diplomatic standoff between India and Canada. Earlier the Speaker of the Canadian Senate Raymonde Gagne skipped the Presiding Officers' Summit of Parliaments of G20 nations that began in Delhi on October 12.

On November 12, Justin Trudeau had reaffirmed his allegation of Indian involvement in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a designated terrorist in India.

Trudeau accused New Delhi of violating the Vienna Convention by "kicking out" 40 diplomats at a time when his country had reached out to the former and other global partners to get to the bottom of the murder.

"From the very beginning when we learned of credible allegations that agents of the Indian government were involved in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil, we reached out to India to ask them to work with us in getting to the bottom of this matter. We also reached out to our friends and allies like the US and others to work on this really serious violation of international law and of the sovereignty of a democracy" Trudeau had said.

"This is something that we are taking very seriously. We will continue to work with all partners as law enforcement and investigative agencies continue to do their work. Canada is a country that will always stand up for the rule of law because if might starts to make right again, if bigger countries can violate international law without consequences, then the whole world gets more dangerous for everyone," he had said.

Trudeau, however, said that Canada wants to "work constructively" with India, adding that Ottawa "will always stand up to the rule of law".

In October, Canada pulled out 41 diplomats from India and also halted its visa and consular services in Chandigarh, Mumbai, and Bengaluru consulates in the wake of the Union government's decision to strip them of their immunity.

However, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) responded by saying that no international norms were violated in India, seeking parity in the mutual diplomatic presence in New Delhi and Ottawa.

On November 16, External Affiars minister S Jaishankar had responded to Trueadu's claim emphasising that the Canadian side was yet to provide evidence to back its claims on the Nijjar killing.

"Now, in the case of Mr Trudeau, I have discussed it also with my own counterpart. And we have told them, look, if you have a reason to make such an allegation, please share the evidence with us. We are not ruling out an investigation and looking at anything which they may have to offer. They haven't done so," Jaishankar said during an interaction with journalist Lionel Barber in London on November 16.

Meanwhile the G20 Virtual Summit gets underway today at 5:30 pm. The summit will witness a major gathering of world leaders. Leaders of all G20 members, including the Chair of the African Union, as well as nine guest countries and heads of 11 international organisations, have been invited.

The virtual summit will address key issues, select outcomes and review developments that have taken place since the conclusion of the New Delhi G20 Summit in September.Following the G20 Leaders' Summit that took place here in the national capital on September 9-10 this year, considerable progress on major G20 priorities as well as outcomes have been made.

For instance, the G20 consensus on tripling renewable energy capacity globally by 2030 and doubling the global rate of energy efficiency improvement by 2030, which was committed to by G20 Leaders in Delhi for the first time, are the key expected outcomes of COP28. (ANI)

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