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US ‘concerned’ over departure of Canadian diplomats from India, cites obligations under Vienna Convention

India's Ministry of External Affairs has rejected Canada's attempt to portray the withdrawal of 41 Canadian diplomats from the country as a violation of international norms.

Ashesh Mallick Edited By: Ashesh Mallick @asheshmallick07 Washington Updated on: October 21, 2023 6:45 IST
US, Matthew Miller
Image Source : YOUTUBE/US DEPARTMENT OF STATE US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller

Washington: The United States on Friday (October 20) expressed concerns over the Indian government’s decision to revoke the diplomatic immunity of 41 Canadian diplomats in India and their departure from the country, and said that it expects New Delhi to uphold its obligations under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

This comes after Canada withdrew 41 diplomats from India after New Delhi threatened to strip them of their diplomatic immunity by Friday, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly earlier said, amid a diplomatic standoff over the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

“We are concerned by the departure of Canadian diplomats from India, in response to the Indian government’s demand of Canada to significantly reduce its diplomatic presence in India,” State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said.

“Resolving differences requires diplomats on the ground,” he added.

The State Department official said that the US has urged the Indian government “not to insist upon a reduction in Canada’s diplomatic presence” and to cooperate in the ongoing Canadian investigation.

“We expect India to uphold its obligations under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, including with respect to privileges and immunities enjoyed by accredited members of Canada’s diplomatic mission,” Miller said.

India’s response to allegations of violation of international norms

The Ministry of External Affairs on Friday rejected Canada's attempt to "portray" the withdrawal of 41 Canadian diplomats from the country as a violation of international norms.

India said that ensuring two-way diplomatic parity is fully consistent with the provisions of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations.

“We reject any attempt to portray the implementation of parity as a violation of international norms,” MEA said in a statement.

Canadian PM responds

Soon after India’s rejection of Ottawa's attempt to portray the implementation of parity as a violation of international norms, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that India’s decision to revoke the diplomatic immunity of Canadian diplomats is a violation of Vienna Convention and is making normal life difficult for millions of people in both nations.

"The Indian government is making it unbelievably difficult for life as usual to continue for millions of people in India and in Canada. And they’re doing it by contravening a very basic principle of diplomacy,” he said.

(With PTI inputs)

ALSO READ | Canadian Foreign Minister left red-faced after query on evidence regarding Nijjar's killing | WATCH

ALSO READ | 'Allegations are serious': US urges India to participate actively in investigation of Nijjar's death

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