Australiais part of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance that has backed Canada’s allegations about the alleged role of Indian agents in the killing of Canadian national and Khalistan separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, and also asked India to join the Canadian probe.The Five Eyes have also accused India of violating the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations by expelling Canadian diplomats following the controversy over Canada’s allegations that India sees as unsubstantiated and absurd.
“Yes, I spoke about it with minister Wong today. Australia has a good, strong relationship with both our countries. So, it was important that Australia get our perspective on the issue. From our point of view, the key issue is really the space which is being given to extremism and radicalism in Canada,” said Jaishankar in the presence of Wong at a press conference that followed their bilateral meeting on Tuesday.
The Jaishankar-Wong bilateral followed the second India-Australia 2+2 ministerial dialogue that focused on further ramping up defence, security, trade and investment ties with an eye on increasing Chinese assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific. Australian defence minister Richard Marles had described China as a source of anxiety for both India and Australia in the dialogue.
The two leaders discussed cooperation under the Quad mechanism, saying they expected the summit to take place early next year. There’s no confirmation yet about the date though. India has invited President Joe Biden for the Republic Day parade next year and is hoping to host the Quad summit around the same time to facilitate Biden’s participation. According to diplomatic sources, if Biden agrees to visit India for the Republic Day on January 26, the Quad summit could take place the day after January 27, which is agreeable to both Australia and Japan. Jaishankar said his meeting with Wong also focused on what more could be done to further strengthen Quad cooperation.
The two leaders also discussed at length the situation in West Asia with Jaishankar reiterating India’s condemnation of the Hamas terror attacks but also expressing support for efforts to resolve issues related to the rights of the Palestinians in the form of the two-state solution.