New Delhi, September 20
Despite expressions of concern from some ‘Five Eye’ countries such as the US, the UK and Australia over Canadian PM Justin Trudeau’s charge of “credible links” of killers of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar with the Indian Government, the G7 block did not insert the allegation in a joint statement issued on the margins of the UN General Assembly.
Reports from the US media had earlier said most G7 countries had rejected the weeks-long lobbying by Trudeau asking them to raise Nijjar’s killing with India at the highest levels of government and issue a joint statement condemning it as infringement of international norms.
Of the handful of countries that issued statements, only Australia said it had raised concerns with high levels of the Indian Government and its Foreign Office touched upon the issue of sovereignty.
The highest level from which a statement was issued was by the spokesperson of the National Security Council attached with the White House.
The UK Foreign Office’s expression of concern was tempered by its PM Rishi Sunak ruling out any rethink on trade talks with India. The Australian PM also asked the media to “chill a bit” shortly after its Foreign Office had expressed concern.
Trudeau had also hoped some Five Eye countries, if not the G7, would take a cue from its Trade Minister Mary Ng cancelling a visit to India for talks on a precursor agreement to a FTA.
“However, all the Western allies of Canada, including the US, declined his request and shrugged it off. After trying in vain to rally the West against India and in the backdrop of his disastrous India visit, Trudeau levelled the allegations alone in Parliament,” reported the Washington Post.
Canada, the UK, the US, Australia, and New Zealand are members of ‘Five Eyes’ which seamlessly share intelligence among themselves.
Now, there is no mention of the Nijjar killing or India in the text of the statement released by the new Japanese Foreign Minister Kamikawa Yoko in her capacity as Chair of the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.
At the meeting in New York on Tuesday, the G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, the US and the European Union slammed Russia, China, the Indo-Pacific, North Korea and Niger but there was no mention of India.