October 21, 2023 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Washington: US State Department issued a statement on Friday (Oct. 20) saying that the US expects 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.
Full text of US State Department’s statement reads as follows:
Departure of Canadian Diplomats from India
MATTHEW MILLER, DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON
OCTOBER 20, 2023
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.
Resolving differences requires diplomats on the ground. We have 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.
What’s the Issue:
Forty-one Canadian diplomats have recently left India amid diplomatic tensions between Canada and India over the assassination of a pro-freedom Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada. The Canadian government says there are credible allegations that the assassination was linked to agents of the government of India.
India asked Canada two weeks ago to withdraw dozens of its diplomatic staff and threatened to remove their immunity if they remained. Canadian officials called the threat a “violation of international law”. The Government of India however denies any violation of international norms on its part. It also denies allegations of its involvement in Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s assassination.
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