Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has indicated his desire to raise the issue of foreign interference in a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the G20 leaders summit. However, it remains uncertain whether Modi will grant him the opportunity.

Trudeau arrived in New Delhi for the two-day summit, where the agenda focuses on critical global issues such as climate change, food security, energy needs, gender equality, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Trudeau’s government recently announced a public inquiry into allegations of foreign interference that have been a concern in Canada for several months.

While in Singapore before his trip to India, Trudeau noted that his schedule was still being finalized, and a meeting with Modi had not been confirmed.

The Indian High Commissioner to Canada, Sanjay Kumar Verma, has also refrained from confirming whether Modi will meet with Trudeau. He stated, “I’m sure they will meet each other. But what… the format of the meeting will be [is] difficult to say.”

India has been identified as a prominent source of foreign interference in Canada, according to Jody Thomas, Trudeau’s national security adviser. Trudeau indicated that if a face-to-face meeting with Modi is arranged, he plans to address the issue of foreign interference.

Trudeau emphasized the importance of the rule of law and protecting Canadians from all types of interference. He mentioned that while China and Russia have been implicated in interference activities, the upcoming inquiry will investigate interference from other countries as well.

India has alleged that elements within Canada have been involved in interfering in its domestic affairs, particularly regarding the Khalistani separatist movement, which advocates for an independent Punjab state. Canada has defended freedom of speech but maintains that violent actions are not permitted.

Tensions have risen, with concerns about foreign interference intensifying following the fatal shooting of a gurdwara leader in Surrey, B.C., in June. Some in the Sikh community believe the attack was politically motivated, although police have not found evidence of foreign interference.

Despite challenges, Canada and India maintain a resilient relationship, according to Nadir Patel, Canada’s former high commissioner to India. Patel pointed out that the two countries share many priorities at the G20, which can help bridge gaps on other issues.

Trudeau’s visit to India comes amid a pause in ongoing negotiations for a trade agreement between the two countries. While Trade Minister Mary Ng mentioned the pause as an opportunity to assess progress, Trudeau declined to provide further details on the matter during his trip.