Canada, India exploring opportunities in Indo-Pacific: Melanie Joly.

Canada’s foreign minister Melanie Joly has stressed on “working together” with India in addressing challenges in the Indo-Pacific and to “bolster diplomatic and regional stability, trade and economic connectivity and sustainability”.

Joly made these comments while appearing at a virtual Republic Day celebration organized by the Indian High Commission in Ottawa.

Joly, who was the chief guest at the function, said that the two countries are “working together to explore opportunities in the Indo-Pacific”.

She added that “as Pacific-facing nations, we share mutual interests in ensuring peace, stability and prosperity of the region.”

Melanie Joly also described as “a remarkable achievement” the administration of over 1.5 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines in India.

The matter of strengthening collaboration in the Indo-Pacific was also addressed by India’s High Commissioner to Ottawa Ajay Bisaria.

He said the two countries “need to come together to defend the rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific” while conveying India’s appreciation of Canada’s “articulation of a vision” for the Indo-Pacific.

When the new House of Commons met in November last year for the first time after the September elections, governor-general Mary Simon outlined the policy priorities of the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and among those was “making deliberate efforts to deepen partnerships in the Indo-Pacific”. Canada is currently formulating a comprehensive Indo-Pacific policy.

“India and Canada as Pacific nations and G20 economies are natural partners,” Bisaria said, while pointing out that they are also observing 75 years of establishment of diplomatic ties.

The event was also attended by Canada’s defence minister Anita Anand who conveyed her greetings on Republic Day.

Also joining the function and extending their wishes were the leader of the opposition in Canada Erin O’Toole, and the premiers of the provinces of Ontario and Alberta, Doug Ford and Jason Kenney.

Meanwhile, while there were protests in front of the High Commission in Ottawa as well as India’s consulates in Toronto and Vancouver, there were no reports of disruption of R Day functions. India had sought enhanced security from Canada this year after its consulate in Vancouver was blockaded by protestors in 2021 and pro-Khalistan speeches were delivered at the site.

Source- Hindustan Times.

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