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Both India and Canada are important partners for us': US
Washington: Amid the rising tensions between India and Canada, US State Department’s Hindustani Spokesperson Margaret MacLeod on Thursday emphasized that the US has their own relations with India and Canada, noting that both are important for the United States.
Macleod further said that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's allegations are concerning.
'The allegations levied by Canadian PM Justin Trudeau are very concerning. We are keeping in touch with our Canadian allies. We urge the Indian govt to cooperate in this investigation,” she added.
Notably, she said, "US and Canada have their own relation and US and India have their own relation, both are important partners for us. But most importantly, the guilty should be brought to justice."
Earlier today, spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, Adrienne Watson rejected reports of the US rebuffing Canada after the latter accused the Indian government of being behind the assassination of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Watson said they are "coordinating and consulting" with Canada and also "engaging" with the Indian government.
Watson made the statement in response to reports in the American media that Washington has distanced itself from Canada's allegation about New Delhi's involvement in the killing of Nijjar, a wanted Khalistani leader in India. The report highlighted the diplomatic challenges faced by the Biden administration as it seeks to maintain strong relations with both India and Canada.
Earlier, US National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby said “serious allegations” were levelled by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau against India in the killing of Nijjar, adding that the US wanted the matter handled in a “transparent” way.
In an interview with CBS News, an American television news channel, Kirby urged India to cooperate in the investigation. "These allegations are serious and we know that Canadians are investigating and we certainly don't want to get ahead of that investigation. We urge India to cooperate in that investigation as well,” Kirby said in the interview.
Moreover, on Thursday, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that the allegations made by Canada regarding the "potential links" of India being behind the killing of Khalistani extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar are “politically driven”.
"Yes, I do think there is a degree of prejudice here. They have made allegations and taken action against them. To us, it seems that these allegations by the government of Canada are primarily politically driven," Bagchi said.
Bilateral relations between India and Canada have hit a sharp downward spiral after Prime Minister Trudeau on Monday alleged that "Indian agents" were behind the shooting of Hardeep Nijjar.
Nijjar, the chief of Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) — a Sikh extremist organisation banned by India and a “designated terrorist” was killed in a targeted shooting at British Columbia in Canada's Surrey in June 2018.
India, however, rejected the allegations by the Trudeau administration, terming them "absurd" and "motivated".
“We have seen and reject 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.