Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met his British counterpart and other world leaders in London on Sunday as talks of the economy and war in Ukraine took place alongside grim preparations for Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.
Trudeau spent about 40 minutes at 10 Downing Street in the early afternoon for a meeting with Liz Truss.
Leaders from around the world have traveled to London to mourn Britain’s longest-serving monarch. Although the focus of the trip is Monday’s funeral, Trudeau also made time to meet with other leaders, including Truss and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
At an afternoon news conference, he said the ongoing war in Ukraine was high on the agenda when he met Truss after first offering his condolences over the loss of the Queen.
“Clearly the UK and Canada have been two of the strongest countries in supporting Ukraine and pushing back against Russia’s illegal actions, which increasingly clearly include war crimes,” he said. -he declares.
Trudeau referred to a mass burial site that was reported near a recaptured northeast town previously occupied by Russian forces, as well as earlier reports of killings and torture in Bucha outside of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. He called Russia and its president to account.
“Vladimir Putin, his supporters and the Russian military must be held accountable for the atrocities they have committed and continue to commit in Ukraine,” Trudeau said.
The Prime Minister said he and his British counterpart also discussed inflation and negotiations for a Canada-UK trade deal, which he said were “going well”.
Trudeau’s meeting with Albanese took place in a London hotel.
He said the two leaders were meeting at a time of “reflection and condolence”, but also had important matters to discuss.
He suggested the meeting would include discussions on climate change, geopolitical issues and economic growth.
Trudeau was also due to meet Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and attend an evening reception at Buckingham Palace later Sunday before attending the Queen’s state funeral on Monday morning.
Trudeau praised the late monarch for her “70 years of extraordinary service to Canada” and her ability to connect with the public.
“Each time I have met Her Majesty, her generosity and grace have made it the most important moment ever,” he said. “She had a way of reaching out and connecting with everyone she met, and connecting with crowds and people who only saw her on TV.”
Trudeau brushed off the question of whether the beloved ruler’s death was the right time to reconsider Canada’s ties to the monarchy – a proposition echoed by former Environment Minister Catherine McKenna in a tweet.
He said that while there are always moments of reflection, Canadians expected him to focus on other issues such as the economy, cost of living, housing and changes climatic.
Jean Chrétien, one of four former prime ministers traveling with Trudeau as part of the Canadian delegation to London, described the Queen as a “star power” person who commanded respect.
He got a laugh when he told a story about singing the national anthem for the Queen in the Northwest Territories in 1970, only to find he didn’t know the English lyrics.
“I was sweating,” he said. “My wife had never been so shy in her life.”
He said he met then-Prince Charles the following summer, and was told his singing of “O Canada” had become “part of royal folklore”.
Mark Tewksbury, a former gold medalist swimmer who is part of the Canadian delegation, said being able to take part in the ceremony meant something “almost beyond words”.
“Even walking through Westminster Abbey, walking through some of the graves of some scientists and Darwin, wow, that’s hallowed ground,” said Tewksbury, who attended a rehearsal for the funeral.
“There is a reverence and a beautiful solemnity in what is about to happen.”
He said he and actress Sandra Oh were invested into the Order of Canada at a ceremony at Canada House in London on Saturday – which was a prerequisite for wearing formal dress to the funeral, a- he declared. Previous ceremonies have been delayed due to COVID-19, he added.
Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press
Justin TrudeauRoyal family