Washington, DC [US], September 22 (ANI): 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 perpetratorsare 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 Sikh separatist leader 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.
"Similar allegations were made by the Canadian Prime Minister to our Prime Minister and were completely rejected. We are a democratic polity with a strong commitment to the rule of law," it added.
New Delhi on Tuesday expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in a reciprocal move to Canada expelling a senior Indian diplomat in light of the claim of New Delhi's involvement in the killing of the wanted separatist leader. The MEA said the Canadian diplomat was asked to leave India within the next five days.
"The High Commissioner of Canada to India was summoned today and informed about the decision of the Government of India to expel a senior Canadian diplomat based in India," the MEA stated on Tuesday.
"The concerned diplomat has been asked to leave India within the next five days. The decision reflects the Government of India's growing concern at the interference of Canadian diplomats in our internal matters and their involvement in anti-India activities," it added. (ANI)