India foreign minister says he spoke to Blinken, Sullivan about Sikh separatist murder

NEW DELHI (Reuters) -India’s foreign minister on Friday said he spoke to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan about Canadian allegations on New Delhi’s possible involvement in the June killing of a Sikh separatist leader in Canada.

Ties between the two countries have been strained after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told parliament earlier this month that Canada suspected Indian government agents were linked to the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

India has dismissed Canada’s allegations as absurd and both countries have expelled a diplomat in a tit-for-tat move.

A U.S. official confirmed that Blinken spoke to India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Thursday and urged India to cooperate with the Canadian investigation, but a U.S. State Department statement made no mention of the issue.

“They shared U.S. views and assessments on this whole situation and I explained to them at some length … a summary of the concerns which I had,” Jaishankar said at a Hudson Institute event in Washington D.C.

(Reporting by Shivam Patel; editing by Christina Fincher)