External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s Meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is scheduled to meet US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington on Thursday, amid the diplomatic rumpus between India and Canada stirred over the killing of a Khalistani separatist.

Although officials from both sides are tight-lipped about the agenda of the meeting, the latest diplomatic crisis between two of America’s friends, its traditional ally Canada and India, is expected to come up prominently during the talks.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will meet US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday amidst the ongoing diplomatic turmoil between India and Canada, surrounding the demise of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Although both sides remained tight-lipped about the meeting’s specific agenda, the recent diplomatic discord between India and its long-standing ally, Canada, is anticipated to feature prominently in the discussions.

Blinken and Jaishankar met in New York on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session on Friday, September 22. However, when Miller was asked about the conversation between Jaishankar and Blinken, he said that the UNGA meeting was not a bilateral one and that the India-Canada diplomatic issue did not come up.

The two leaders are expected to participate in a photo session prior to the meeting and are not anticipated to entertain questions from the media. While the meeting had been arranged well before the Canadian crisis unfolded, the US has been pressing India to collaborate with the Canadian investigation into the early-year incident involving the Sikh separatist, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, in British Columbia.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has accused the Indian government of orchestrating the killing of the 45-year-old Nijjar outside a gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18. India had officially labeled Nijjar a terrorist in 2020. India has dismissed these claims as “baseless” and “biased,” responding by expelling a senior Canadian diplomat in a reciprocal measure to Ottawa’s expulsion of an Indian official. Furthermore, India has called upon Canada to take decisive action against terrorists and individuals with anti-India affiliations operating from its territory, leading to the suspension of visa services for Canadians.

State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller clarified that this matter was not discussed during the Quad ministerial meeting held in New York, which involved foreign ministers from the US, India, Japan, and Australia. As it was a gathering of multiple nations, this topic did not arise. However, the State Department spokesperson emphasized that they have engaged with their Indian counterparts on this issue and have urged them to offer full cooperation to the Canadian investigation.

(With inputs from PTI)

Date Event
Thursday, [Insert Date] Meeting between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken
Friday, September 22 Meeting between Blinken and Jaishankar on the sidelines of UNGA
June 18 Alleged killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey, British Columbia

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