US backs Canada in Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s murder probe

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan speaks during a press briefing on February 4, 2021, in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC. AFP/File

The White House has affirmed its unwavering support for Canada as allegations surfaced suggesting Indian involvement in the murder of Canadian Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar near Vancouver earlier this year.

In a recent press briefing, Jake Sullivan, the US national security adviser, categorically rejected the notion of a divide between the United States and Canada, saying, “I firmly reject the idea that there is a wedge between the US and Canada.” 

Sullivan voiced profound concerns regarding the allegations and emphasized the importance of a thorough investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had kicked up a diplomatic controversy by raising suspicions that Indian government agents played a role in Nijjar’s assassination, a Canadian citizen, near a Sikh temple. While certain reports hinted at efforts to create discord between the US and Canada on this issue, Sullivan’s statements reaffirmed the enduring friendship between the two nations.

The United States has been actively working to strengthen its ties with India, with President Joe Biden hosting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a state visit earlier this year. When questioned about whether concerns over this incident could hinder the relationship-building process, Sullivan asserted that the US would stand firmly by its principles, regardless of the nation in question.

Sullivan articulated, “There’s no special exemption granted for actions like this. Regardless of the country, we will stand up and defend our fundamental principles.”

Behind the scenes, diplomatic efforts continue, as Sullivan confirmed ongoing communication with both Canada and India. “We maintain constant contact with our Canadian counterparts … and have also been in touch with the Indian government,” he disclosed.

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