The recent 2+2 meeting between India and the United States saw discussions on a range of critical issues, including India’s concerns over pro-Khalistani activities in Canada and the ongoing investigation into the killing of Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Here are the key takeaways from the meeting:
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged India to cooperate with Canada’s investigation into the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Sikh separatist. The incident had led to strained diplomatic relations between India and Canada. Blinken stressed the importance of resolving the matter cooperatively and expressed his views during a media briefing in New Delhi.
Blinken emphasized that both India and Canada are close friends and partners of the United States. He expressed the desire to see them resolve their differences and disputes amicably. The US Secretary of State’s call for cooperation in the Nijjar killing probe is seen as an attempt to de-escalate tensions between the two countries.
During the meeting, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra conveyed India’s serious concerns regarding the increasing activities of pro-Khalistani elements in Canada. India has consistently expressed its position on this matter to its friends and partners. The recent release of a video by Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, the founder of the outlawed Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), added to India’s security concerns.
Following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations of Indian agents’ involvement in Nijjar’s killing, India temporarily suspended the issuance of visas to Canadian citizens and requested Canada to reduce its diplomatic presence to ensure parity. Canada has already withdrawn 41 diplomats and their family members from India. India has since resumed some visa services.
The discussions during the 2+2 meeting also touched on regional developments, including the situation in the Middle East. Both sides shared their perspectives on their concerns and views on the evolving situation. India reiterated its long-standing position in favor of a two-state solution and early resumption of dialogue. India condemned terror attacks and called for the strict observance of international humanitarian law, de-escalation of the situation, and the prevention of civilian casualties.
2+2 meeting provided a platform for India and the United States to address critical issues, with a particular focus on resolving differences between India and Canada, addressing concerns related to pro-Khalistani activities, and discussing regional developments, including the situation in the Middle East. Cooperation and diplomacy remain at the forefront of efforts to maintain stable and constructive international relations.