New Delhi: External affairs minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday met his Australian counterpart Penny Wong and discussed India’s strained relationship with Canada. The two also discussed the Quad alliance with the Australian foreign minister during the India-Australia Foreign Ministers’ Framework Dialogue.
Responding to a query on Canada after the two leaders met in the national capital, he said they discussed the diplomatic row. He said he communicated India’s views about space being given to extremism and radicalism in Canada.
“From our point of view, the key issue is really the space which is being given to extremism and radicalism in Canada,” he said.
He said since Australia had good relations with both India and China, it was important that the country “Australia gets our perspective on the issue”.
The two leaders also discussed Quad — a regional partnership of Japan, India, US, Australia formed to counter China’s growing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.
“We discussed Quad at some length today…There are a broad range of issues we are working on,” he said.
Among the topics discussed in the meeting include intelligence sharing on shipping and military activities along with trade and investments.
India and Australia agreed to jointly map the Indian Ocean sea floor which is critical for submarine operations and work out formal arrangements for air-to-air refueling, reported Bloomberg.
India and Canada have had strained ties since September, when PM Justin Trudeau alleged India’s involvement in the killing of Khalistan terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
New Delhi, rejecting the allegation as ‘baseless’, has demanded evidence from Canada.
India and Australia backed a two-state solution to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Meanwhile, at a virtual meeting of BRICS leaders, S Jaishankar said the concerns of Palestinians must be addressed seriously.
“The ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza is causing immense human suffering. Right now there is an urgent need for humanitarian aid to reach the population of Gaza. It is also imperative that all hostages are released. PM Modi has spoken to several leaders in the region and across the world in this context. He has highlighted the need to create conditions for peace and restart direct and meaningful peace negotiations. We believe that the concerns of Palestinians should be addressed seriously. This can happen only with a two-state solution,” he added.
With inputs PTI, ANI