‘2+2’ dialogue: India’s perspective on tense Canada ties shared with Australia, says Jaishankar

India, Australia vowed to deepen economic ties

India Australia Dialogue India's Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar and, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, left, talk during the second India-Australia 2+2 Dialogue in New Delhi | AP

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Tuesday shared India's strained relationship with Canada since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's allegations of the potential India's involvement in the killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

Jaishankar held discussions with Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong during the India-Australia Foreign Ministers' Framework Dialogue.

"From our point of view, the key issue is really the space which is being given to extremism and radicalism in Canada," Jaishankar told reporters at a joint press conference with Wong.

Jaishankar added that Australia had a good and strong relationship with both India and Canada.

"So, it was important that Australia get our perspective on the issue," Jaishankar said.

India had refuted Canada's allegation as "absurd" and "motivated". India-Canada relations became tense since the killing of Nijjar on June 18 in British Columbia.

Since Trudeau's remarks in the Canadian Parliament, India and Canada have expelled senior diplomats. India has also forced "parity" in diplomatic presence at Canadian missions here leading to withdrawal for 41 diplomats.

India-Australia vow to deepen economic ties

India and Australia vowed to deepen their economic and security partnership and stressed their commitment to a "free, open inclusive and rules-based" Indo-Pacific," which has been witnessing China's growing assertiveness.

Importance of moving on the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) negotiations was also discussed during the ministerial dialogue.

"We spoke of the way forward for greater mobility of our students and professionals," said Jaishankar.

On asked about the Israel-Hamas war, Jaishankar said it was a terrorist attack that took place on October 7. "We think nationally and international community that we should never compromise on terrorism, we should be very clear about it," he said.

Concerns regarding the hostage situation and humanitarian crisis in Gaza was also pointed out.

He asserted that there was "real momentum" in the India-Australia comprehensive strategic partnership.

"We shared growing convergences with Australia. At the heart of it is really a shared commitment to a free, open, inclusive, prosperous and rules-based Indo-Pacific region based on United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea," he added.

Discussions on terrorism, radicalism and extremism was also discussed by both nations.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Defence Minister Richard Marles also took part in the ministerial dialogue.

(With PTI inputs)

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