Mon, 04 Dec 2023

Washington, DC [US], September 23 (ANI): As the India-Canada diplomatic row intensified after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused India of involvement in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, designated as a terrorist by India, the US on Friday said that America is in regular contact with the Canadian government and has engaged with the Indian government.

While addressing a press briefing, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre made reference to the statement made by US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Thursday where he had said that the US remains in contact with Canada and India. She said that they are "deeply concerned" about the allegations made by the Canadian PM about the Indian government's involvement in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

Asked whether US President Joe Biden and leaders of Five Eyes raised concerns regarding Trudeau's allegations at the G20 Summit, Karine Jean-Pierre said, "So I know that National Security Advisor spoke to this yesterday and I know there's been some new reporting. I don't have anything to certainly and this is something that Jake said himself, he was not going to comment about private diplomatic conversations. I'm not going to do that either. Just following what the National Security Advisor said and so just not going to comment on that. Obviously, we are deeply concerned, as he said as well.""And so what the Prime Minister has referenced here, Prime Minister of Canada, and so we remain in regular contact with the Canadian government and Canadian partners. But, of course I am not going to comment on diplomatic conversations from here. So, we have engaged, as Jake said, our National Security Advisor with the Indian government. But, certainly, we're not going to get into a private diplomatic conversation as he said as well. But, yes, there has been conversations with partners in the Indian government as Jake stated yesterday," she added.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Thursday (local time) said he will not be going into the substance of private diplomatic conversations. However, he said that the US is consulting with Ottawa closely and is in touch with the Indian government as well.

Addressing a press briefing, Sullivan said the US supports the efforts that are being taken in the investigation and perpetrators held to account. He rejected the reports that are trying to create a gap between the US and Canada on the issue.

In response to a question on the ongoing fierce diplomatic standoff, Sullivan said, "As soon as we heard from the Canadian Prime Minister publicly about the allegations. We went out publicly ourselves and expressed our deep concern about them. Our support for a law enforcement process to get to the bottom of exactly what happened and to ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable. Not going to get into the substance of private diplomatic conversations, but we are in constant contact with our Canadian counterparts. We are consulting with them closely. We support the efforts that they are undertaking in this investigation, and we have also been in touch with the Indian government as well.""And I will leave it at that for today. Only to say that I have seen in the press some efforts to try to drive a wedge between the United States and Canada on this issue. And I firmly reject the idea that there is a wedge between the US And Canada. We have deep concerns about the allegations and we would like to see this investigation carried forward and the perpetrators held to account. That is what the United States has stood for from the moment this emerged in public and we will continue to stand for that until this fully plays its way," he added.

Earlier, on Monday, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau accused the Indian government of being behind the assassination of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. The chief of Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF)- a Sikh extremist organisation banned by India and a "designated terrorist", Nijjar was killed in a targeted shooting at British Columbia in Canada's Surrey in June this year. India, however, rejected the allegations, terming them "absurd" and "motivated".

"We have seen and rejected the statement of the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament, as also the statement by their Foreign Minister," the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.

"Allegations of Government of India's involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd and motivated," the MEA added in its statement. (ANI)

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