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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar-Blinken Meeting Amid India-Canada Diplomatic Row

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar will meet US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington today, amid a diplomatic spat with Canada over the June assassination of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar on Canadian grounds.

Last week, Mr. Jaishankar and Mr. Blinken had a chance encounter in New York during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session. The diplomatic situation between India and Canada was not discussed, according to the US State Department.

Speaking for the US State Department, Matthew Miller declined to comment on the precise subjects that the two leaders’ impending meeting will cover. He did, however, reassure that the US has encouraged India to assist Canada’s inquiry into the killing of Nijjar.

“I don’t want to preview the conversations he (Blinken) will have in that meeting (with MrJaishankar), but as we have made clear, we have raised this; we have engaged with our Indian counterparts on this and encouraged them to cooperate with the Canadian investigation, and we continue to encourage them to cooperate,” Mr Miller said.

Speaking on behalf of India in response to the accusations made by Canada on Tuesday in New York, Mr. Jaishankar emphasised that India does not engage in such conduct as a matter of policy and principle.

According to Mr. Blinken, the claims made by the Canadian PM have the US extremely concerned. He continued by saying that “accountability” is what the US wants to see and that it is crucial that the investigation.

India strongly disputes Canada’s accusations, labeling them as “baseless”. Mr. Jaishankar has told Canada that India will look into the situation if given precise facts about Nijjar’s killing.

“We told the Canadians that this is not the government of India’s policy. Secondly, we said if you have something specific and if you have something relevant, let us know. We are open to looking at it…The picture is not complete without the context in a way,” he said.

In his speech to the 78th UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Mr. Jaishankar advised UN members to avoid acting out of “political convenience” in their responses to extremism, terrorism, and violence. Many people perceived this as implicitly criticizing Canada.

Mr. Jaishankar stated that the time when a select few countries set the global agenda has passed and urged UN member states to respect the territorial integrity and refrain from meddling in the internal affairs of other nations. Many people perceived his comments as a veiled dig at both China and Canada.

The Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, asserted that his country has “credible allegations” that India was involved in the killing of Nijjar in June on Canadian soil, which set off the diplomatic spat between India and Canada.

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