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PM Modi receives Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau, family at Rashtrapati Bhavan

Justin Trudeau

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi met his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau on Friday welcoming him with a hug ahead of a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, putting speculations aside about the government cold-shouldering the visiting dignitary.

After Trudeau, his wife Sophie, and children Xavier, Ella-Grace and Hadrien, alighted from a car on the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Modi shook hands with Trudeau and then hugged him.

On Thursday evening breaking his silence since the Canadian Prime Minister’s arrival in India on February 17, Modi said that he looked forward to the bilateral meeting on Friday.

“I appreciate his (Trudeau’s) deep commitment to ties between our two countries,” Modi tweeted.

At the Rashtrapati Bhavan, while Modi shook hands with Sophie Trudeau, Xavier and little Hadrien, he had a special hug reserved for Elle-Grace.

On Thursday, the Indian leader had posted a picture of him playfully tweaking Elle-Grace’s ears with Trudeau smilingly looking on during a visit to Canada in 2015.

The ceremonial reception optics came after much speculation that Modi and his government was cold-shouldering Trudeau during his eight-day state visit to India.

The visiting dignitary and his family have since visited Agra, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Amritsar.

While Modi did not accompany Trudeau to Ahmedabad, a meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in Amritsar on Wednesday was organised only at the last moment.

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