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Canada foreign minister postpones trip to India

March 14, 2009 20:54 IST

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon has postponed his official visit to India. The announcement about the postponement of his trip was made on the day he was scheduled to leave for India.  

His Communications Director, Catherine Loubier, told, "Minister Cannon's March 2009 visit to India has been postponed due to scheduling difficulties.  Canada looks forward to rescheduling the visit at the earliest mutually convenient opportunity."

Earlier, Indian High Commissioner S M Gavai had told that Cannon's decision to visit India was "a very positive development as it will give both sides the opportunity to exchange views on various issues, including the global recession, Afghanistan, Pakistan and ways to boost our bilateral relations."

The most important item on his official agenda was to seek some clarifications on the draft nuclear cooperation agreement that Canada and India are keen on signing.

"Canada has submitted its draft agreement and India has now given its counter-draft and that's being looked into by Canada," Gavai said last week.

International Trade Minister Stockwell Day, who had visited India in January and met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, told earlier that the Canadian government had sought India's clarification on only three points in the draft.

Cannon's spokeswoman Loubier couldn't indicate as to when the Foreign Affairs Minister would visit India.

Cannon would have been the fifth Federal Minister to visit India since the beginning of this year.  Those who have earlier visited India include International Trade Minister Day; Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney; Agriculture Minister Doug Reitz and Industry Minister Tony Clement.

Ajit Jain in Toronto