Won't talk about security briefings in open: Australia PM on India-Canada row
The Five Eyes Alliance which includes the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada called the accusations serious.
Amid the India-Canada soaring diplomatic tensions over killing of a Sikh leader, Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese on Wednesday said that Canberra doesn’t talk about its security briefings being held as part of the Five Eyes Group.
On being asked if the Australian government has received a security briefing about the alleged assassination, Albanese said, “We don't talk about security briefings from Five Eyes (intelligence alliance), as part of the Five Eyes group."
The Five Eyes Alliance which includes US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada- called the accusations serious.
Albanese further said that he had discussions with his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau but would doesn't wish to disclose and keep them confidential. "...Well, I do have discussions with Prime Minister Trudeau but one of the things that I do, unlike my predecessor, I don't send out text messages, I keep those discussions confidential. Justin Trudeau is a friend of mine, he's a fine Prime Minister of Canada. I was pleased to engage with him at the G20 (Summit). He has expressed his concerns about this on behalf of the Canadian government and the Australian foreign minister Penny Wong has also expressed concerns,” the Australian PM said.
Australian foreign minister Penny Wong had earlier called the Canadian allegations of about India's alleged role in the killing of Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar “concerning”. She also said that the investigation is underway into the matter, and Australia will continue to monitor the developments.
Meanwhile, the Indian External Affairs Ministry (MEA) today issued an advisory to its nationals and students living in Canada to to exercise “utmost caution” due to growing anti-India activities and hate crimes. The advisory cautioned Indian nationals to “avoid travelling to regions and potential venues in Canada that have seen such incidents”.
There are 2,30,000 Indian students and 7,00,000 non-resident Indians in Canada, according to the website of the Indian high commission in Ottawa.
India's relations with Canada have reached an all-time low after Trudeau alleged India's involvement in killing of pro-Khalistan terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a claim which was rejected by New Delhi terming it ‘absurd and motivated’. Following Trudeau's allegations, Canadian foreign minister had expelled a senior Indian diplomat from the country, which further compelled New Delhi to boot out a Canadian top official with a condition to leave India in five days.
After coming under severe pressure the Canadian Prime Minister then appeared to tone down the rhetoric on Tuesday saying Canada was not looking to provoke India.
"We are not looking to provoke or escalate, we want to work with the government of India to lay everything clear and to ensure there are proper processes," Trudeau said in a news briefing.
(With inputs from ANI)