New Delhi: In Canada’s address to the United Nations General Assembly, right after Indian external affairs minister S. Jaishankar, the country’s UN ambassador spoke of the impermissibility of “bending the rules of state-to-state relations for political expediency.”
The remarks, delivered on the afternoon of Tuesday, September 26, assume significance in the light of the fact that last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had alleged that the Indian government was behind the killing of Canadian Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June, on Canadian soil. The allegation prompted a diplomatic spat, with India calling it absurd.
Hours before Canada’s UN ambassador Robert Rae addressed the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Indian external affairs minister S. Jaishankar had said that terrorism and extremism cannot be fought as per “political convenience” and that respect for territorial integrity cannot be exercise in “cherry-picking”.
Neither Rae, nor Jaishankar, mentioned each others’ countries by name at the UN.
The Hindu reports that Rae, however, did stress on “foreign interference.”
“We also have to uphold the values of free and democratic societies…We cannot bend the rules of state to state relations for political expediency. Because we’ve seen and continue to see the extent to which democracies are under threat through various means of foreign interference,” he said, according to the paper.
“But the truth is if we don’t adhere to the rules that we’ve agreed to the very fabric of our open and of our free societies based start to tear,” Rae added, also listing “foreign interference, misinformation and disinformation” as part of Canadian people’s concerns.
The Print has reported on a CBC interview in which Rae has said that his Indian counterpart Ruchira Kamboj met him on the sidelines of the UNGA and added that it was important they keep working together.