India's visa processing centre in Canada suspended services Thursday
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ducked questions Thursday about whether his government will match India's move to halt visa services between the two countries.
India's visa processing centre in Canada suspended services Thursday — part of a deepening row between the two countries that began on Monday when Trudeau said India's government may have been involved in the killing of a Canadian Sikh leader.
Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who had been wanted by India for years, was gunned down outside a Sikh temple in Surrey, B.C., on June 18.
Speaking in New York, Trudeau sidestepped questions about visa processing and repeated his call for the Indian government to do more to get to the bottom of the matter.
We call on the government of India to work with us, to take seriously these allegations and to allow justice to follow its course, he said.
Canada's High Commission in India said in a media statement that it's temporarily adjusting its staff presence at its locations in India due to
some diplomats having received threats on various social media platforms.
WATCH: PM sidesteps question about India and visas
Trudeau sidesteps question about India and visas
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would not say whether Canada will suspend visa services to India as diplomatic rift between the countries grows.
A number of Canada's key allies have shown little inclination so far to wade into the escalating row between Ottawa and New Delhi.
Asked whether he was concerned about that, Trudeau did not criticize any of Canada's allies and said his government is
standing up for the rules-based order.
We're standing up for the rule of law, he said.
We're highlighting how unacceptable it would be for any country to be involved in the killing of a citizen on their own home soil and that's something that we'll continue to stand for.
- India warns travellers to Canada of 'politically-condoned' violence as diplomatic row worsens (new window)
After China illegally detained Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig in December of 2018, allies presented a united front in condemning Beijing's actions.
Asked why Canada is not seeing that same level of support now, Trudeau insisted his government is following the same playbook.
In the situation with the two Michaels, Canada grounded itself in the rule of law, in our values, in upholding our international treaties and obligations, he said.
U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters his government does support Canada, is in regular contact with the Canadian government and has spoken to the Indian government about the allegations.
I have seen in the press some efforts to try to drive a wedge between the United States and Canada on this issue and I firmly reject the idea that there is a wedge between the U.S. and Canada, Sullivan said.
We have deep concerns about the allegations and we would like to see this investigation carried forward and the perpetrators held to account. That is what the United States has stood for from the moment this emerged in public and we will continue to stand for that until this fully plays its way out.
Evidence is 'credible': Trudeau
Trudeau said the allegation he made in the House of Commons was meant to defend Canadian values, not to
provoke or cause problems with India.
There is no question that India is a country of growing importance and a country that we need to continue to work with, not just in the region but around the world, he said.
Trudeau was asked Thursday whether he regretted making the allegation.
There are credible reasons to believe that agents of the government of India were involved in the killing of a Canadian on Canadian soil, he said.
That is something of the utmost and foundational importance in a country of the rule of law, in a world where the international rules-based order matters. We have a rigorous and independent justice system and robust processes that will follow their course.