Responding to Canada’s accusation in regards to breaching the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the Ministry of External Affairs ( MEA ) has stated that India has not violated any diplomatic or international norm.
Official Statement by the MEA :
After the accusations by Canada that India is violating the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the Indian MEA responded by insisting that its actions against Canadian diplomats is entirely in conformity with the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
The MEA emphasised that its actions abide by and are in conformity with Article 11.1 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The cited section deals with the size of the diplomatic and embassy staff in other nations.
It must also be noted that the Article 11.1 of the convention clearly mentions and states that in the absence of some “specific agreement as to the size of the mission”, the receiving State may need for the size of the mission to be kept “within limits considered by it to be reasonable and normal”; while also having regard to conditions and circumstances in the receiving State and also to the needs of the particular mission.
The 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations :
The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations refers to an international treaty signed by nations across the world on 18 April 1961. Presently, 193 countries are party to the document. The international treaty laid out a framework for diplomatic interactions between independent nations. It also aims to ensure the ‘development of friendly relations amongst nations’.
‘Unilateral removal’ :
41 Canadian diplomats in India were withdrawn on Friday, October 20,2023. This particular move by Ottawa came after India called in favor of ensuring ‘parity’ in regards to Canadian diplomatic presence in the country.
Earlier, Melanie Joly, the Canadian Foreign Minister had claimed that India had formally conveyed its plan to “unilaterally remove diplomatic immunities” for over 40 Canadian diplomats in New Delhi. During a news conference in Ottawa, she further added that 41 Canadian diplomats and their dependents were at the risk and danger of having their immunity stripped on an arbitrary date and that the move by India would put their personal safety at risk.
Responding to the matter, Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, alleged that India’s actions ostensibly amounted to a “violation of the Vienna Convention”. Additionally, he also stated that the move would impact a number of Canadians who trace their origins to the Indian subcontinent.
Since then, both Canada and the United States have called for India to uphold its obligations under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Meanwhile, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs ( MEA ) insists that its actions have not violated any international laws and norms. The MEA asserted that its move to reduce Canadian diplomatic presence in India was targeted at ensuring diplomatic parity and that it remained entirely consistent with international norms and conventions.