Blinken meets Indian foreign minister as row between India and Canada simmers

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks with Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023, at the State Department in Washington. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Thursday with India’s international minister amid a simmering row between New Delhi and Ottawa over allegations of Indian authorities involvement within the killing of a Sikh activist in Canada.

Blinken and Subrahmanyam Jaishankar met Thursday on the State Division because the U.S. tries to navigate the dispute between its northern neighbor and the South Asian nation important to its Indo-Pacific technique to counter China’s rising affect within the area.

Neither man spoke to the controversy that has disrupted Canada-India relations in very temporary feedback to reporters. U.S. officers had stated they anticipated the subject to be raised. “We’ve persistently engaged with the Indian authorities on this query and have urged them to cooperate,” State Division spokesman Matthew Miller stated.

Earlier Thursday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated he had been informed Blinken would handle the matter and encourage the Indian authorities to cooperate with an investigation into the killing.

“The Individuals have been with us in chatting with the Indian authorities about how vital it’s that they be concerned in following up on the credible allegations that brokers of the Indian authorities killed a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil,” Trudeau stated.

“That is one thing all democratic nations, all nations that respect the rule, have to take significantly and we’re transferring ahead in a considerate, accountable means anchored within the rule of legislation with all companions, together with in our method with the federal government of India,” he informed reporters in Montreal.

U.S. officers have acknowledged that the fallout from the allegations, which they take significantly, may have a profound influence on relations with India however have been cautious to not solid blame within the June killing of Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was slain in a Vancouver suburb.

Killed by masked gunmen, Nijjar was a pacesetter in what stays of a once-strong motion to create an unbiased Sikh homeland, often called Khalistan, and India had designated him a terrorist.

India’s international ministry has dismissed the allegation as “absurd” and accused Canada of harboring “terrorists and extremists.” It additionally implied that Trudeau was attempting to drum up home help among the many Sikh diaspora.

In his feedback, Trudeau stated Canada didn’t need to rupture ties with India however takes the matter significantly.

“As we’ve introduced with our Indo-Pacific technique simply final 12 months, we’re very severe with about constructing nearer ties with India,” he stated. “On the similar time … we want emphasize that India must work with Canada to make sure that we get the total info on this matter.”


Related Press author Rob Gillies in Toronto contributed to this report.

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