Jaishankar meets Canadian counterpart Joly in Munich | World News

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met in person with his Canadian counterpart Mélanie Joly on Friday in Munich, in what the latter described as “a frank discussion.”

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar with Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Melanie Joly, in Munich on Friday. (Official Photo)

This was their first formal bilateral meeting since relations between the two countries nosedived after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated in the House of Commons on September 18 that there were “credible allegations” of a potential link between Indian agents and the killing of pro-Khalistan figure Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18.

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In a post on X, Jaishankar said, “Our conversation understandably focused on the present state of our bilateral ties. Was also useful to exchange views on the global situation.”

Both he and Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs were in Germany to attend the Munich Security Conference and they met on the margins of the global event.

Joly also posted on the bilateral meeting, saying the Ministers “had a frank discussion on Canada-India relations and the current global issues, including Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.”

Both Ministers had remained in touch through the crisis, as Joly revealed at the end of October last year. The meeting in Munich was sought by Canada in it’s effort to secure cooperation from India in the Nijjar investigation.

In the immediate aftermath of the Canadian PM’s statement, both countries expelled a senior diplomat each and India suspended visas for Canadian nationals, though those were restored in November. Canada also had to remove 41 diplomats from India as New Delhi sought “parity” in numbers, a move Joly has defined as “mass expulsion.”

While India has started a high-level inquiry into the alleged attempt to murder Sikhs for Justice or SFJ general counsel Gurpatwant Pannun, as shown by an unsealed indictment in a New York court, Nijjar’s murder is not part of that probe as India has sought “specific and relevant” information from Ottawa before cooperating with the ongoing Canadian investigation into the killing of SFJ’s principal figure and coordinator for the so-called Khalistan Referendum in the province of British Columbia.

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