Jaishankar-Blinken meet: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has arrived in Washington, DC today and will be engaging with a number of delegates. Jaishankar-Blinken meet will come amid the ongoing diplomatic crisis between India and Canada. Apart from Blinken, EAM is also set to US Trade Representative, Ambassador Katherine Tai in a closed press meeting, White House officials, members of the US administration, business leaders and think tanks.
Last week, Jaishankar had met his US counterpart Blinken in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session. Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa were also present at the Quad meeting.
1. The US State Department spokesperson Mathew Miller informed that the India-Canada diplomatic standoff regarding the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar didn’t come up during last week’s meeting between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
2. While answering on India Canada diplomatic row, Miller said, “That was not a bilateral meeting. It was a meeting of a number of countries. Did not come up in that meeting. We have engaged with our Indian counterparts on this issue and urged them to fully cooperate with the Canadian investigation,” said State Department spokesperson Mathew Miller, while answering to India-Canada diplomatic row. “As we have made clear, we have raised this. We have engaged with our Indian counter on this and encouraged them to cooperate with the Canadian investigation and we continue to encourage them to cooperate,” he added.
3. Earlier on Tuesday, when Jaishankar addressed the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, he said that “political convenience” should not be countenanced in determining responses to terrorism and extremism in an apparent reference to Canada amid a diplomatic standoff between the two countries.
4. He had also said that respect for territorial integrity and non-interference in internal affairs cannot be exercised in cherry-picking. Jaishankar said there is a thrust on the promotion of a rules-based order and respect for the UN Charter is also invoked and that rules will work only when they apply equally to all.
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5. EAM also took a jibe at some nations and said, “In our deliberations, we often advocate the promotion of a rules-based order. From time to time, respect for the UN Charter is also involved. But for all the talk, it is still a few nations that shape the agenda and seek to define the norms. This can’t go on indefinitely nor will it go unchallenged. A fair, equitable and democratic order will surely emerge once we all put our minds to it. And for a start, that means ensuring that rule-makers do not subjugate rule-takers.”
6. The External Affairs Minister had also refused to comment on the reports sharing of intelligence between Five Eyes countries on Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s killing. “I am not part of The Five Eyes”, the minister said during the ‘Discussion at Council on Foreign Relations’ in New York.
7. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau 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. Both the countries at G20 had a sideline conversation on the issues. It later emerged that Trudeau had brought up the allegations on the Sikh’s murder, which Modi had responded with criticism on Canada becoming a safe haven for separatist groups.
8. India has 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. India has also asked Canada to crack down on terrorists and anti-India elements operating from its soil and suspended visa services for Canadians.
9. A proposed early-stage trade deal is now in jeopardy, potentially hurting India’s efforts to woo the West and serve as a supply-chain alternative to China. India’s access to Canadian potash, a key nutrient for crops, may get affected.
10. Both nations have already expelled senior diplomats from the other side in a tit-for-tat escalation. Canada plans to reduce embassy staff as security threats rise in the South Asian country while New Delhi stopped issuing visas to Canadian citizens.
Source : Mint