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India to skip Canada-led COVID meet after Trudeau's remarks on farmers' protest


New Delhi, Dec 05: India is likely to skip the Canada-led COVID-19 strategy meet amid the fresh row between the two nations over remarks made by Canadian PM Justin Trudeau on the ongoing farmers' protest in the county.

New Delhi has informed Ottawa that EAM Jaishankar will not attend the meeting that is to take place on December 7 due to "scheduling issues", according to a India today report.

EAM Jaishankar

India has called the remarks by foreign leaders on protests by farmers as "ill-informed" and "unwarranted" as the matter pertained to the internal affairs of a democratic country.

On Friday, India summoned Canadian High Commissioner and told him that the comments made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and others in his Cabinet on the farmers'' protest constituted an "unacceptable interference" in the country''s internal affairs and these actions, if continued, will have a "seriously damaging" impact on the bilateral ties.

People have a right to demonstrate peacefully: UN on farmers' protest

Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and several other states have been protesting for the last nine days at the borders of Delhi against three farm laws. Dubbing these laws as "anti-farmer", these farmers claim that the newly enacted legislations would pave the way for dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the "mercy" of big corporations.

However, the government has maintained that the new laws will bring farmers better opportunities and usher in new technologies in agriculture.

The government and the farmers unions are holding the fifth round of talks on the new farm laws on Saturday.

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