US Urged India To 'Cooperate Fully' With Canadian Investigation: Official

A US state department official said the message was conveyed by Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

US Urged India To 'Cooperate Fully' With Canadian Investigation: Official

S Jaishankar also met members of the US Congress on Thursday.

Washington, DC:

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has urged India to "cooperate fully" with the ongoing Canadian investigation into the killing of a Khalistani terrorist, a senior state department official said on Friday, a day after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met the top American diplomat here.

Mr Jaishankar is currently on a five-day official trip to Washington DC. Thursday's meeting at the State Department was the highest-level interaction between the two countries after the recent G20 Summit in New Delhi when President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi met.

"Secretary Blinken also took the opportunity to urge India to cooperate fully with the ongoing Canadian investigation," a State Department spokesperson said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has alleged that the Indian government was behind the killing of Khalistant Terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar on June 18. India had designated Mr Nijjar as a terrorist in 2020. India has rejected Canada's allegations as "absurd" and "motivated".

Earlier, the state department said Mr Blinken met with Mr Jaishankar and the two leaders discussed a full range of issues, including key outcomes of India's G20 presidency, and the creation of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor and its potential to generate transparent, sustainable, and high-standard infrastructure investments.

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, the statement said without mentioning the India-Canada diplomatic standoff.

"Great to meet my friend US Secretary of State @SecBlinken at the 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," Mr Jaishankar posted on X on Friday.

"Thank you to Indian External Affairs Minister @DrSJaishankar for hosting @POTUS earlier this month. We discussed India's successful G20 presidency, creation of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor, and the upcoming #USIndia 2+2 Dialogue in New Delhi," Mr Blinken posted on X.

"I actually look forward to seeing you in Delhi for the 2+2," Mr Jaishankar told Mr Blinken, as the latter welcomed him at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department for the meeting.

India 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 learnt that the ministerial dialogue would be held in the first half of November.

The US delegation would be represented by Mr Blinken along with Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin. Mr Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will lead the Indian delegation.

The last 2+2 ministerial was held in Washington, DC, on April 11. Started during the previous Trump administration, the first 2+2 ministerial was held in New Delhi on September 6, 2018.

"Focused discussion on India-US collaboration on critical and emerging tech and creating resilient supply chains at discussion convened by @USISPForum," Mr Jaishankar said in another post on social media platform X.

"Glad to know that India is the major talking point in corporate boardrooms. Our collaboration offers more possibilities with each passing day," he said.

Mr Jaishankar, who arrived here from New York on Wednesday after addressing the 78th General Assembly session of the United Nations on Tuesday, held a series of meetings with top Biden administration officials on Thursday.

He started the day with a visit to the White House for a meeting with National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. The White House did not issue a readout of the meeting.

"Recognised the tremendous progress in our bilateral relationship this year and discussed taking it forward," Mr Jaishankar posted on X.

After a meeting with representatives of the think tanks from Washington DC, Jaishankar met US Trade Representative Katherine Tai.

"Spoke about our expanding trade and economic relationship and its broader significance," he wrote on X.

"Today, I met with  @DrSJaishankar  to discuss the positive momentum of the U.S.-India trade relationship, and opportunities to collaborate on @wto reform and IPEF negotiations," Ms Tai said.

Mr Jaishankar described his meetings with the think tanks as an open and productive conversation.

"Discussed transformations underway around the world and India's growing role," he said.

Mr Jaishankar also met members of the US Congress on Thursday. "Pleased to meet Members of Congress, Administration, business and think tank heads at India House. 

"Our regular conversations keep India-US relationship strong," he wrote on X.