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UK disagrees with India's position on diplomatic parity that resulted in 41 Canadian diplomats leaving India

London: The United Kingdom has shown its disagreement with India's action after the India-Canada standoff which resulted in the departure of 41 Canadian diplomats from India and called for resolution of differences through discussion.
In a press statement on Friday, UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) spokesperson said, "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."
UK further emphasised that the UK expect India to uphold its obligations under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
Noting the removal of immunities of diplomats, it said, "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 read further, "We continue to encourage India to engage with Canada on its independent investigation into the death of Hardeep Singh Nijjar."
The US has expressed concerns over the departure of 41 Canadian diplomats from India and urged the Indian government not to insist on reducing Canada's diplomatic presence.
During a press briefing on Friday, US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller stated, "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."
US further urged the Indian government to cooperate in the ongoing Canadian investigation.
Noting that resolving differences requires diplomats on the ground, Miller said, "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 further added that the US expect India to uphold its obligations under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
"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, the Ministry of External Affairs had called for a reduction in Canadian diplomats in India citing their continued "interference" in New Delhi's "internal matters".
While addressing the press briefing on October 5, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, "Given the much higher presence of diplomats or diplomatic presence here...and their continued interference in our internal matters, we have sought parity in our respective diplomatic presence. Discussions are ongoing on the modalities of achieving this".
The Ministry of External Affairs on Friday said that no international norms were violated in India seeking parity in the mutual diplomatic presence in New Delhi and Ottawa.
Canada had accused India of violating the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations Foreign Minister Melanie Joly on Thursday that Canada has removed 41 diplomats and their 42 dependants from India amid the ongoing row between the two countries. "We reject any attempt to portray the implementation of parity as a violation of international norms," the MEA said.
However, later on Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday said the Indian government's decision to revoke the diplomatic immunity of 41 Canadian diplomats is making normal life difficult for millions of people in both countries, Canada-based television network Global News reported.
"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 told reporters at a televised press conference in Brampton, Ontario.
He further added, "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."
Notably, the ties between India and Canada have been strained after Canadian PM Justin Trudeau in September alleged that the Indian government was behind the fatal shooting of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. India has out rightly rejected the claims, calling it 'absurd' and 'motivated'. Notably, Canada has yet to provide any public evidence to support the claim about the killing of Nijjar.

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