On S Jaishankar's Meet With Blinken, US Doesn't Mention India-Canada Row

The India-Canada standoff over Hardeep Singh Nijjar's killing was not mentioned in the US State Department's readout of the talks between S Jaishankar and Antony Blinken on Thursday.

S Jaishankar and Antony Blinken did not take any questions from the media.

New Delhi:

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed a full range of issues during their meeting in Washington on Thursday, the US State Department said, without any mention of the row over Canada's allegations that India was involved in the killing of a Khalistani terrorist.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar, designated a terrorist by India in 2020, was shot dead outside a gurudwara in Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly raised allegations that Indian government agents were linked to the killing, but has offered no evidence till now.

India has rejected Canada's allegations as "absurd" and "motivated". Mr Jaishankar has assured Canada that India is "open to looking at it" if provided with "something specific and relevant".

The India-Canada standoff over Nijjar's killing was not mentioned in the US State Department's readout of the talks between Mr Jaishankar and Mr Blinken on Thursday. The issues they discussed included key outcomes of India's G20 presidency, creation of India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor, the US Department of State said.

"The Secretary and the External Affairs Minister also emphasised the continued importance of cooperation ahead of the upcoming 2+2 Dialogue, in particular in the areas of defence, space, and clean energy," said State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller.

New Delhi will host the fifth edition of India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, Mr Jaishankar announced on Thursday. Although he did not reveal the dates of the meeting, it is believed that the ministerial dialogue would be held in the first half of November.

"Good to be back here. And we, of course, had the Prime Minister here this summer. Thanks to the US for all the support to the G20 Summit," Mr Jaishankar said in a joint press conference with Mr Blinken ahead of their meeting.

Mr Blinken refused to respond to reporters' questions about the Canada row. "It's a pleasure to welcome my friend and colleague, Foreign Minister Jaishankar, here to the State Department, back to Washington.  We've had very good discussions over the last weeks - of course at the G20, in New York at the General Assembly - and I'm looking forward to pursuing them this afternoon," he said.

Mr Jaishankar is on a five-day official trip to Washington.

"Great to meet my friend US Secretary of State @SecBlinken at State Department today. A wide ranging discussion, following up on PM @narendramodi's June visit. Also exchanged notes on global developments. Laid the groundwork of our 2+2 meeting very soon," the Foreign Minister posted on X.