The tensions between India and Canada escalated as India withdrew 41 Canadian diplomats on Friday. There are now only 21 Canadian diplomats left in India. The dispute between the two countries started when Canada made allegations against India for its involvement in the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Sikh separatist activist. The United States and the United Kingdom expressed concerns over India’s decision to remove diplomats. The US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said that it had urged the Indian government to cooperate with Canada and also asked them to uphold its obligations under the 1961 Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic Relations (Article 11.1). The UK has reaffirmed its position that all countries should respect sovereignty and the rule of law. However, India assured that its actions had not gone against International laws.
What is the Vienna Convention?
The Vienna Convention is an International treaty that defines a framework for diplomatic relations between countries. The treaty was signed by 61 countries in 1961 and currently has 193 countries as parties. The Vienna Convention offers a framework for establishing diplomatic relations, maintaining diplomatic relations, and terminating diplomatic relations. The convention attempts to guarantee the emergence of cordial ties between nations.
What is Article 11.1?
India asserts that its activities are to the principles outlined in Article 11.1 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. This particular section deals with the size of foreign embassies in other nations.
The Vienna Convention states that in the absence of a specific agreement regarding mission size, "the receiving State may require that the size of a mission be kept within limits considered by it to be reasonable and normal, taking into account circumstances and conditions in the receiving State and to the needs of the particular mission."
Canadian PM Trudeau’s reaction to India.
According to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the crackdown on Canadian diplomats by the Indian government has made life tough for millions of people in both nations. In response to India's threat to unilaterally revoke their status, Canada withdrew 41 diplomats the day before Trudeau's speech.
India had urged Canada to reduce the number of diplomats stationed there last month, stating that both countries' diplomatic missions should be of comparable size and rank.
Editorial - Sally (Anh) Ngo,
October 22, 2023
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