India-Canada diplomatic tensions: EAM India Jaishankar to meet US Secretary Blinken

EAM India Jaishankar to meet US Secretary Blinken.

Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is set to hold a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken today. This meeting is taking place in the midst of a diplomatic dispute between India and Canada, which has been triggered by the assassination of Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

According to PTI, there has been no official disclosure regarding the topics to be discussed in the meeting. However, it is widely anticipated that the recent diplomatic tension between two of the United States’ friendly nations – Canada and India – will be a key focus of the talks.

“I don’t want to preview the conversations he (Blinken) will have in that meeting (with Jaishankar) , but as we’ve made clear, we’ve 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,” State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller told reporters.

He was responding to questions about the meeting between Jaishankar and Blinken at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department here on Thursday afternoon (which is about mid-night local India time).

The two leaders are expected to pose for pictures ahead of the meeting and are not expected to take any questions from the media, the news agency report said.

While the meeting between the two top diplomats was scheduled much before the Canadian crisis broke out, the US has been urging India to cooperate in the Canadian investigation into the killing of Nijjar in British Columbia early this year.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has alleged that the Indian government was behind the killing of Nijjar, 45, outside a gurdwara in Surrey in British Columbia on June 18. India had designated Nijjar as a “terrorist” in 2020.

Meanwhile, India rejected the allegations as “absurd” and “motivated” and expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in a tit-for-tat move to Ottawa’s expulsion of an Indian official.

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