Melanie Joly, Canada’s Foreign Minister, Canada is recalling 41 diplomats from India over an alleged breach of the Vienna Convention. after India threatened to revoke their official status if they did not leave.
After Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cited credible evidence suggesting that Indian agents may have been involved in the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, 45, outside a Sikh temple in British Columbia in June, New Delhi asked Ottawa to reduce its diplomatic presence last month.
Canada is recalling 41 diplomats from India
Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Jean Joly confirmed that India will revoke the diplomatic immunity of all but 21 of Canada’s diplomats and dependents in Delhi by October 20,.
The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations is violated by this unreasonable and unprecedented measure, according to Joly. In a press conference on Thursday, she said that Canada had facilitated the safe departure of 41 diplomats from India, and that if diplomatic immunity were violated, no diplomats in the world would be safe.
During a press conference in Ottawa on October 19, Joly confirmed that India has formally communicated its plans to unilaterally remove diplomatic immunity for all but 21 Canadian diplomats and dependents in Delhi by tomorrow.
Due to the implications of India’s actions for the safety of our diplomats, we have facilitated their safe departure from India.
For this reason, we will not reciprocate if the norm of diplomatic immunity is broken.
There are now 21 Canadian diplomats in India, accompanied by 42 dependents.
Initially, the Canadian government had set a deadline for reducing the number of diplomats in India by October 10. However, as negotiations with India did not yield positive results, this deadline was allowed to lapse. Yet, Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Payette has assured that Canada will maintain communication and engagement with India, considering it crucial to have diplomats on the ground. Joly emphasized Canada’s commitment to international law and to dialogue with India.
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Canada will continue to defend international law, which applies equally to all nations. We will engage India and remain committed to dialogue.
This mass expulsion will negatively impact Global Affairs Canada’s operations and client service, according to the agency.
India’s decision will affect levels of services for citizens of both countries. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will continue to accept and process Indian applications. There will be certain application requirements that must be completed locally or on-site in a secure environment. As a result, service standards for Indian residents will be affected by the reduction in the size of the IRCC team, according to the statement.
Canada’s troubled relations with India
The Indian government has dismissed Trudeau’s allegations that its agents were involved in the murder of Nijjar, a Canadian citizen New Delhi had labelled a “terrorist.”
Indians are the largest source of international students in Canada, accounting for approximately 40% of all study permit holders. About 2 million Canadians, or approximately 5% of the total population, are of Indian descent. According to Immigration Minister Marc Miller, the departure of the diplomats will lead to a reduction in the number of immigration staff at the embassy.
The Canadian government expressed sympathy for the distress this situation may cause to individuals, families, institutions, communities, and businesses.
The visa application centers in India, which are operated by external contractors, will not be affected.