Britain to continue trade talks despite India-Canada row

Britain to continue trade talks despite India-Canada row

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  • September 19, 2023
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Diplomatic ties between Canada and India remained strained on Tuesday following the murder of a Sikh separatist leader. Despite assertions that the Indian government was involved in the matter – a claim that New Delhi has vehemently refuted – other countries have indicated their willingness to maintain ties with India. A British spokesperson told the media that the incident would have no bearing on trade talks with India. 

UK PM Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson confirmed that work on a trade deal with India would continue upon being asked about Canada’s claims. The development also comes mere days after the two leaders met in Delhi for the G20 Summit.

“Work on the trade negotiations will continue as before. The Canadian authorities will now conduct their work and I’m not going to preempt them. When we have concerns about countries we are negotiating trade deals with, we will raise them directly with the government concerned. But with regards to the current negotiations with India, these are negotiations about a trade deal, and we’re not looking to conflate them with other issues,” Reuters quoted the spokesperson as telling reporters.

The two countries are currently negotiating a Free Trade Agreement and held their 12th round of negotiations in August. Sunak and Modi held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit to discuss the India-UK free trade agreement, innovation, and science along with ways to strengthen the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two countries.

Khalistan terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar was gunned down outside a Gurdwara in Canada earlier this year. Trudeau said on Monday that “credible allegations” linked Indian agents to the June slaying of the Khalistan Tiger Force chief. 

Nijjar was wanted in India for carrying out terrorist attacks – a charge he had denied before his death.

“We have seen and reject the statement of the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament, as also the statement by their Foreign Minister. Allegations of the Indian government’s involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd and motivated,” the MEA said in an official statement.

(With inputs from agencies)


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Updated: 19 Sep 2023, 06:53 PM IST

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