4th October 2023, Mumbai: The United States has stated its position regarding the ongoing diplomatic crisis between India and Canada, stemming from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations that India was involved in the killing of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada. The U.S. is opting to leave the resolution of this matter to India and Canada while emphasizing the seriousness of the allegations.
US State Department’s deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel acknowledged reports about diplomatic staffing levels for the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi but declined to delve further into the issue, stating a reluctance to engage in hypothetical scenarios. Patel reiterated the US commitment to its Indo-Pacific strategy and maintaining its focus on the region.
US expressed its support for an investigation into Canada’s allegations
Before the meeting between India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the US expressed its support for an investigation into Canada’s allegations and urged India to cooperate. India has consistently denied the allegations, calling them baseless, and noted that Canada had not provided any specific information related to the claims. This diplomatic crisis involving India and Canada poses a challenge for the US, which has strong interests in both countries.
US has urged India to actively participate in any investigation
John Kirby, Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council in the White House, stated that the issue was discussed between Jaishankar and US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. He emphasized that the US has urged India to actively participate in any investigation and stressed the seriousness of the allegations.
withdraw 41 of its 62 diplomats by October 10
In the midst of the crisis, the Indian external affairs ministry revealed that Canada currently has more diplomats in India than India has in Canada. India alleged interference by Canadian diplomats in its internal affairs and has requested Canada to withdraw 41 of its 62 diplomats by October 10. Trudeau emphasized that Canada’s intention is to assist Canadian families in India, not to provoke India.
Canada’s Foreign Minister Melanie Joly stated that they are in constant cooperation and dialogue with India regarding the withdrawal of diplomats. She emphasized the importance of having a strong diplomatic presence in India during times of tension between the two governments and expressed Canada’s willingness for private talks with India to resolve the issue.
By Yashika Desai