Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke to Narendra Modi on Wednesday and discussed their commitment to democratic principles, “recent protests, and the importance of resolving issues through dialogue”, a statement from Trudeau’s office said.

Trudeau’s remarks were seen as an apparent reference to the farmers protests against the new agriculture laws. The prime minister in December had spoken in support of the farmers, saying that his country will always defend the rights of peaceful protestors.

This had evoked a strong reaction from India. New Delhi had even summoned Canadian High Commissioner Nadir Patel and told him that the comments made by Trudeau and others in his Cabinet constituted an “unacceptable interference” in the country’s internal affairs.

During Wednesday’s phone call, Trudeau and Modi also underlined the need to work collectively in rebuilding a more sustainable and resilient global economy. “The two prime ministers reaffirmed their common interests in a free and open Indo-Pacific, and the importance of working together on global challenges such as climate change, strengthening global trade, and reinforcing the rules-based international order,” the statement from the Canadian prime minister’s office said.

They also agreed to work together on access to coronavirus vaccines. “The two leaders had an exchange on their respective efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, protect the health and safety of their people, and provide economic support for their citizens,” it added.

Trudeau and Modi also discussed India’s significant efforts in promoting vaccine production and supply, the statement said, adding that New Delhi has provided vital support to countries around the world during the pandemic.

The leaders further underscored the importance of the Canada-India strategic partnership and the common perspective shared by the two countries on many important geopolitical matters.

Trudeau and Modi said they looked forward to meeting each other in various important international forums later this year, and continuing their discussions on all matters of mutual interest, the statement said.

‘India will do its best to provide vaccines to Canada’

A release from the Prime Minister’s Office said that Modi assured his Canadian counterpart that India would do its best to facilitate supplies of coronavirus vaccines sought by Canada.

Trudeau said that if the world managed to conquer Covid-19, it would be significantly because of India’s tremendous pharmaceutical capacity and Modi’s leadership in sharing this capacity with the world, according to the statement.