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"Those responsible must be held accountable:" US envoy Garcetti on India-Canada diplomatic row

New Delhi: Amid the India-Canada diplomatic standoff, US Ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti has said that perpetrators should be brought to justice and that there should be a space for investigation before a judgement is made.

Speaking at Ananta Centre in New Delhi in a conversation with senior journalist Indrani Bagchi, Garcetti said, "Those who are responsible must be held accountable. We hope that traditional friends and partners will cooperate in getting to the bottom of it."

He said, "We care deeply for Canada just as we care deeply for India. And I think that moments like this don't define our relationship. But they certainly can slow down progress. And they're gut checks for everybody to say how do we interact with each other? What do we stand for? How do we enforce ideas like sovereignty and international law?And what are our responsibilities to one another?And I'm sure somebody's going to ask that question."

"So let me just kind of say more of a statement that obviously any allegations like this should be troubling to anyone. But with an active criminal investigation, I hope that we can make sure that perpetrators are brought to justice and that we can all allow the space for that information and that investigation to occur before anybody leaps to judgment. And to me, that's the most important role. I think to each one of us sovereignty is a very important principle," he added.

Responding to a question on whether Canada has shared any evidence to the US, the US envoy stated, "As I said... I think that people need to have the space and the place for, if there is evidence, I will say that of course we are in close communication with Canada. Canada is a dear friend, ally, partner and neighbour."
"Not just in moments like this, but all the time. we speak regularly, we share information..but that doesn't mean i have everything that everybody is speaking about," he said.

Relations between India, and Canada have grown tense after Justin Trudeau on Monday alleged that the Indian government was behind the fatal shooting of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Najjar, who was a designated terrorist in India and was gunned down outside a Gurdwara, in Canada's Surrey, British Columbia on June 18.
Earlier on Tuesday, US National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby said that “serious allegations” were levelled by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau against India in the killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar adding that the US wanted the matter to be handled in a “transparent” way.
In an interview with CBS News, an American television news channel, Kirby urged India to cooperate in the investigation.

Meanwhile, Indian nationals, students in Canada and those planning on travelling to the country have been advised to exercise caution amid the recent strain in relations between the two countries.

Indian students in Canada have been particularly advised to exercise extreme caution and remain vigilant.
The MEA said in view of growing anti-India activities and politically condoned hate crimes and criminal violence in Canada, all Indian nationals there and those contemplating travel are urged to exercise utmost caution.

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