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Trudeau's apology for using blackface 'should be accepted', says Varadkar

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Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during an election campaign stop in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. Photo: REUTERS/Carlos Osorio

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during an election campaign stop in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. Photo: REUTERS/Carlos Osorio

REUTERS

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during an election campaign stop in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. Photo: REUTERS/Carlos Osorio

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has urged people to accept Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's apology for using blackface.

Mr Trudeau has been at the centre of a storm after pictures emerged of him with dark make-up on his hands and face at a 2001 'Arabian Nights'-themed costume party.

He has apologised for this and other incidents in which he wore brown or blackface.

Mr Varadkar was asked about the incidents involving Mr Trudeau - seen as a close ally of the Taoiseach on the international stage - at a press conference ahead of UN meetings in New York.

"Mr Trudeau has apologised. He's given a very direct apology about those actions in the past and I think people should accept that apology," he said.

Mr Trudeau had been expected to attend the United Nations General Assembly latter this week but is no longer coming in the wake of a controversy and ahead of elections in Canada.

While Ireland and Canada are in direct competition for a UN Security Council seat for 2021 and 2022, there is a good rapport between Mr Varadkar and Mr Trudeau.

They went running in Dublin's Phoenix Park together during Mr Trudeau's visit to Ireland in 2017, shortly after Mr Varadkar became Taoiseach.

Both are taking part in the 'Christchurch Call to Action' initiative to crack down on the spread of terrorism and hate on social media platforms.

Mr Varadkar last night took part in a dialogue with other leaders involved in this initiative in New York.

It is spearheaded by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern whose country suffered a horrific terror attack - which was live-streamed online - earlier this year.

Irish Independent