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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has spoken to his French counterpart in a controversy over the recent comments on freedom of expression.

Mr Trudeau expressed Canada’s solidarity with “the French people” following the recent terrorist attacks.

A teacher was beheaded in a suburb of Paris after showing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad to some of his students.

Mr Trudeau’s remarks last week on freedom of expression were criticized in both Canada and France.

French President Emmanuelle Macron’s defense of the publication of the cartoons sparked protests in some Muslim-majority countries.

A boycott of French goods has been requested in some countries.

What did Trudeau say last week?

Mr Trudeau condemned recent attacks in France, including a fatal knife attack on a church in Nice, the country’s third alleged Islamist attack in just over a month.

In response to a question about the right to show a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad, he said, “Freedom of expression is not without limits.”

“We owe it to ourselves to act with respect for others and to try not to arbitrarily or unnecessarily harm those with whom we share a society and planet.”

He added: “For example, we don’t have the right to shout fire in a movie theater overflowing with people, there are always limits.”

How did Macron react?

On Tuesday, Mr Macron spoke by phone to the Prime Minister of the Province of Quebec, Francois Legault, to thank him for his words of support following the attacks.

Mr Legault said he “condemned without reservation” what had happened in France.

But Mr Macron did not call Mr Trudeau that day – viewed as a nudge by the French leader, especially since both men are viewed as like-minded political allies.

Mr Trudeau has since clarified his earlier remarks, saying: “It is important to continue to defend freedom of expression and expression.”

He added, “Our artists help us reflect and challenge our views and they contribute to our society and we will continue to defend freedom of expression.”

What about the call today?

Mr Trudeau and Mr Macron spoke on the phone on Thursday and suggested that the two leaders mend fences over the remarks.

According to a reading from the Prime Minister’s Office, Mr Trudeau expressed “Canada’s solidarity with the French people following the recent terrorist attacks and violence” and the two “agreed on the importance of defending speech and human rights and their joint commitment to combat Terrorism and Violent Extremism “.

Related topics

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  • Justin Trudeau
  • Emmanuel Macron
  • Canada
  • France


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