The White House has dispelled the impression of a divide between the United States and Canada regarding allegations that Indian agents were involved in the murder of Canadian Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar near Vancouver in June.
In a recent press briefing, Jake Sullivan, the US national security adviser, firmly dismissed suggestions of a rift, saying, "I firmly reject the idea that there is a wedge between the US and Canada."
Sullivan expressed deep concerns about the allegations and emphasised the need for a thorough investigation to hold the perpetrators accountable.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had triggered a diplomatic row by raising allegations of Indian government agents' involvement in the assassination of Nijjar, a Canadian citizen, near a Sikh temple.
While some reports had hinted at efforts to drive a wedge between the US and Canada on this issue, Sullivan's statements reaffirmed the enduring partnership between the two nations.
The United States has been seeking to strengthen its relationship with India, with President Joe Biden hosting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a state visit earlier this year.
When asked whether concerns over this incident could disrupt the relationship-building process, Sullivan asserted that the US would stand up for its principles irrespective of the country affected.
"There's not some special exemption you get for actions like this. Regardless of the country, we will stand up and defend our basic principles," Sullivan declared.
The matter has sparked diplomatic efforts behind the scenes, as Sullivan confirmed ongoing communication with both Canada and India. "We are in constant contact with our Canadian counterparts ... and we have also been in touch with the Indian government," he said.
As the investigation into Hardeep Singh Nijjar's murder continues, the United States maintains its commitment to support the pursuit of justice while preserving its diplomatic ties with both Canada and India.
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