US Emphasizes 'We Have Made Clear' Stand Ahead Of Jaishankar-Blinken Meet Amid India-Canada Diplomatic Crisis
Washington - In a bid to address the ongoing diplomatic standoff between India and Canada, India's External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar, arrived in Washington, DC today for a pivotal meeting with his US counterpart, Antony Blinken . This high-stakes rendezvous marks a significant development in the escalating tensions between the two nations.
However, it is not just Blinken whom Jaishankar will confer with during his visit; the Indian minister is also set to engage in a closed-door session with US Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai, along with other key meetings involving White House officials, members of the US administration, influential business leaders, and renowned think tanks.
This diplomatic overture follows Jaishankar's recent meeting with Antony Blinken in New York during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session. At that time, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa were also present, marking the occasion as a Quad meeting. Notably, the Canada issue did not surface during this meeting, as it was not a bilateral discussion, clarified State Department spokesperson Mathew Miller .
When quizzed about the India-Canada diplomatic row, Miller elaborated, “That was not a bilateral meeting. It was a meeting of a number of countries. Did not come up in that meeting. We have engaged with our Indian counterparts on this issue and urged them to fully cooperate with the Canadian investigation."
Miller went on to emphasize that the United States has been unambiguous in its stance. Expressing deep concern over the allegations made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau , the US has called upon India to cooperate fully in the investigation into the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
“As we have made clear, we have raised this. We have engaged with our Indian counter on this and encouraged them to cooperate with the Canadian investigation and we continue to encourage them to cooperate," Miller added.
The India-Canada tensions reached a fever pitch after Justin Trudeau accused the Indian government of orchestrating the assassination of Nijjar, who was fatally shot outside a gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18. It is worth noting that India had designated Nijjar as a terrorist in 2020.
The rift between the two nations came to light during their sideline conversation at the G20 summit, where Trudeau raised allegations regarding Nijjar's murder. In response, Prime Minister Modi criticized Canada for harboring separatist groups.
In a tit-for-tat exchange, India promptly rejected the allegations as "absurd" and "motivated," leading to the expulsion of a senior Canadian diplomat in retaliation for Ottawa's expulsion of an Indian official.
The unfolding diplomatic drama underscores the gravity of the situation and the imperative for high-level talks between India and the United States to defuse the crisis and restore stability in the region.
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