OAN’s Abril Elfi
10:54 AM – Saturday, October 21, 2023
Canada has withdrawn 41 of its diplomats from India amid an escalation of their dispute over the murder of a Sikh activist in Canada.
On Friday, Foreign Minister Melanie Joly announced that Canada recalled 41 out of 62 diplomats and added that Ottawa would not take any retaliatory steps.
“Forty-one Canadian diplomats and their 42 dependents were in danger of having their immunity stripped on an arbitrary date and this would put their personal safety at risk,” Joly said. “Our diplomats and their families have now left.”
Joly stated that withdrawing diplomatic immunity is not only unprecedented, but also against international law, and that Canada would not threaten to do the same to Indian diplomats as a result.
“A unilateral revocation of the diplomatic privilege and immunity is contrary to international law and a clear violation of the Geneva Convention on diplomatic relations. Threatening to do so is unreasonable and escalatory,” Joly said.
According to Joly, India’s decision will have an impact on the level of services provided to citizens in both countries. She stated that Canada is temporarily suspending in-person services in Chandigarh, Mumbai, and Bangalore.
This comes amid Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stating that there were “credible allegations” of Indian involvement in the assassination of Nijjar, a 45-year-old Sikh leader assassinated by masked gunmen in Surrey, near Vancouver, in June.
For years, India claimed that Nijjar, a Canadian citizen born in India, had ties to terrorism, which he denied.
Meanwhile, India has also revoked visas for Canadians.
Trudeau has already tried to defuse the diplomatic crisis, assuring reporters that Canada is “not looking to provoke or escalate.”
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