Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday he was sure US Secretary of State Antony Blinken would raise the murder of a Sikh separatist leader with his Indian counterpart when the two meet later in the day.
Trudeau made his remarks to reporters in Quebec, 10 days after he announced Canada suspected Indian government agents were linked to the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, which took place in the province of British Columbia in June.
India last week suspended new visas for Canadians and asked Ottawa to reduce its diplomatic presence in the country, citing what it called a deteriorating security environment.
Blinken is due to meet Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Thursday.
Asked directly whether Blinken would bring up the case, Trudeau replied: “The Americans will certainly discuss this matter with the Indian government.”
India has dismissed Canada’s allegations as absurd. Jaishankar though said on Tuesday that New Delhi has told Canada it was open to looking into any “specific” or “relevant” information it provides on the killing.
“One, we told the Canadians that this is not the government of India’s policy,” he had said. “Two, we told the Canadians saying that look, if you have something specific, if you have something relevant, you know, let us know — we are open to looking at it.”
Allies of Canada, including the United States, have cautiously expressed concern over the claims and urged India to cooperate with Canada’s investigation.
The US ambassador to Canada told Canadian television that some information on the case had been gathered by the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, which includes the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.