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Trudeau-India: ‘Shared’ Five Eyes intel informed allegation, Cohen says

There was “intelligence shared between Five Eyes partners” that informed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s public allegation of a potential link between the Indian government and the murder of a Canadian citizen, the United Nations ambassador has confirmed. United States in Canada, David Cohen, at CTV News.

In an exclusive interview with Vassy Kapelos on CTV’s Questions Period airing Sunday, Cohen confirmed “that there was information shared between the Five Eyes partners that helped Canada make the statements made by the Prime Minister “.

On Monday, Trudeau informed the House of Commons in a rare statement on a national security matter that Canadian intelligence agencies were investigating “credible allegations” that Indian government agents were involved in the June death of Prominent Canadian Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar. BC

Since then, as diplomatic tensions continue to escalate – from Canada’s reassessment of its troop levels in India to India’s suspension of visa services for Canadians – swirling questions have arisen over intelligence who are at the center of this story, who knew about it. , and when.

Although Cohen would not say whether the intelligence underlying the Canadian government’s investigation was both human and surveillance-based, or whether it included signals intelligence from Indian diplomats, the US envoy United States in Canada said: “There was intelligence shared between Five Eyes partners that helped lead Canada to make the statements that the Prime Minister made. »

As CBC and the Associated Press reported that the intelligence Trudeau was talking about did not come solely from Canada and that additional information was provided by an unspecified member of the Australia-Canada intelligence-sharing alliance, the New -Zealand and the U.K., and the U.S. Cohen told Kapelos there was “a lot of communication” between Ottawa and D.C.

He made the comment while denying a Washington Post report claiming that weeks before Trudeau’s explosive statement, Ottawa had asked its closest allies, including the United States, to publicly condemn the killing and that this overture had been rejected.

“Quite frankly, I will say that – and you know me quite well – that I am not in the habit of commenting on private diplomatic conversations,” Cohen said.

“Look, I will say it was a matter of information shared by the intelligence services,” he added. “There’s been a lot of communication between Canada and the United States on this, and I think that’s all I’m comfortable with.”

Earlier this week, Trudeau told reporters that officials had been working closely with intelligence agencies since the summer to “make sure we had a solid foundation to understand what was going on.”

And after raising the issue directly with his allies and India on the sidelines of the G20, Trudeau said he believed Canadians had a “right to know.”

Let’s talk more generally about how the United States interprets what happened and whether the government of US President Joe Biden is reluctant to come to Canada’s defense. Cohen said the United States “takes these allegations very seriously.”

“And, you know, if that turns out to be true, that would be a potentially very serious violation of the rules-based international order that we like to operate within,” he said.

Officials in Washington said Biden’s concerns about the allegations had been expressed to India, and the United States asked India to cooperate with Canada’s investigation, according to the ambassador.

“We think it’s very important to get to the bottom of this,” Cohen said.

With files from Vassy Kapelos, CTV News chief political correspondent

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