The UK has voiced its disapproval of India's actions following the India-Canada standoff, which led to 41 Canadian diplomats leaving India. The UK has called for the resolution of differences through diplomatic discussion.
In a recent press statement, a spokesperson from the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) expressed their concerns, stating, "Resolving differences requires communication and diplomats in respective capitals. We do not agree with the decisions taken by the Indian government that have resulted in a number of Canadian diplomats departing India."
The UK further stressed the importance of India upholding its obligations under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. In response to the removal of diplomatic immunities, they asserted, "We expect all states to uphold their obligations under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The unilateral removal of the privileges and immunities that provide for the safety and security of diplomats is not consistent with the principles or the effective functioning of the Vienna Convention."
The statement continued, "We continue to encourage India to engage with Canada on its independent investigation into the death of Hardeep Singh Nijjar."
The US has also expressed its apprehensions about the departure of 41 Canadian diplomats from India and has called upon the Indian government to reconsider its demand for reducing Canada's diplomatic presence.
During a press briefing, US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller remarked, "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."
The US has urged the Indian government to cooperate with the ongoing Canadian investigation. Emphasizing the need for diplomats on the ground to resolve differences, Miller added, 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."
Miller also underlined the US's expectations of India upholding its commitments under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. He stated, "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," he added.
Earlier this month, India's Ministry of External Affairs had called for a reduction in the number of Canadian diplomats in India, citing their continued interference in India's internal affairs. MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi noted during a press briefing that discussions were ongoing on how to achieve this diplomatic parity.
The Ministry of External Affairs asserted on Friday that seeking parity in mutual diplomatic presence in New Delhi and Ottawa did not violate any international norms. Canada had accused India of violating the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Foreign Minister Melanie Joly stated that Canada had withdrawn 41 diplomats and their 42 dependents from India due to the ongoing dispute.
Nonetheless, on Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his concerns, stating that the Indian government's decision to revoke diplomatic immunity for 41 Canadian diplomats was causing disruptions for people in both countries. Trudeau emphasized, "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.”
Trudeau further stated, "It's something that has me very concerned for the well-being and happiness of millions of Canadians who trace their origins to the Indian subcontinent."
It's worth noting that India-Canada relations have been strained since Canadian PM Justin Trudeau alleged in September that the Indian government was involved in the fatal shooting of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. India vehemently denied these claims, labeling them as 'absurd' and 'motivated.' Canada has yet to provide public evidence to support their allegations regarding Nijjar's death.