WASHINGTON — Justin Trudeau was invited to visit India during his first formal meeting with the country's prime minister Narendra Modi, as they huddled Friday at an international summit.
The prime minister accepted.
"I'd like to heartily congratulate you for an immense victory in the elections," Modi told him through a translator, as their meeting began. "I'm seeing that after you have become the prime minister there has been a new energy, a new dynamism... in our relations."
Modi said he was pleased to see the prime minister implementing some of the ideas they'd discussed when they chatted at international summits last fall, soon after Trudeau's election.
Narendra Modi shakes hands with Justin Trudeau at a bilateral meeting during the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC, April 1, 2016. (Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)
They crossed paths at the Commonwealth and climate-change conferences in the weeks following Trudeau's election. But their sitdown meeting in a convention-centre conference room Friday was their first formal bilateral.
They were among the dozens of leaders attending a nuclear-safety summit hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama. Trudeau's office said the leaders discussed trade, investment and climate change.
"It's a real pleasure to be able to sit down and talk about deepening the friendship, economic ties and a stronger future between our two countries on many, many different levels," Trudeau said as he sat down for the meeting with Modi.
Trudeau's office confirmed that he'd received an invitation to visit India and accepted. No other details were offered. India's NDTV said Trudeau had promised to bring his family as well.
"It creates closer ties."
The meeting received considerable coverage in Indian media. A blog item in the Times of India posted pictures of Trudeau and his wife doing yoga poses and suggested: "(Modi) may want to carry his yoga mat with him (to the meeting)."
There was also a brief moment of cultural confusion.
Some members of the Indian delegation were perplexed as to why Modi was made to stand in front of the Canadian flag, while Trudeau stood in front of the Indian one.
Modi himself remarked on that as he walked into the meeting. Canada had hosted the sitdown and, Trudeau explained, that's the protocol chez nous: "It creates closer ties."
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