Diplomatic parity with Canada does not violate international norms: India

The external affairs ministry highlighted the need for diplomatic parity due to strained bilateral relations, Ottawa's interference, and a high number of Canadian diplomats

Representative image of Canada flag (left) and India flag (Photo: IANS)
Representative image of Canada flag (left) and India flag (Photo: IANS)


Amid reports that Canada has recalled a significant number of its diplomats from India, the ministry of external affairs (MEA) on Friday said considering the current status of bilateral relations between the two nations and Ottawa's continued interference in New Delhi's affairs, as well as the extremely high number of Canadian diplomats, warranted parity in mutual diplomatic presence.

It also dismissed allegations that attempts to maintain parity are in violation of international norms.

"We have seen the Statement by the Government of Canada on October 19 regarding Canadian diplomatic presence in India. The state of our bilateral relations, the much higher number of Canadian diplomats in India, and their continued interference in our internal affairs warrant a parity in mutual diplomatic presence in New Delhi and Ottawa," an MEA statement read.

The MEA statement further said, "We have been engaged with the Canadian side on this over the last month in order to work out the details and modalities of its implementation. Our actions in implementing this parity are fully consistent with Article 11.1 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations."

According to Article 11.1, "In the absence of specific agreement as to the size of the mission, the receiving State may require that the size of a mission be kept within limits considered by it to be reasonable and normal, having regard to circumstances and conditions in the receiving State and to the needs of the particular mission.” 

"We reject any attempt to portray the implementation of parity as a violation of international norms," the statement also said.

Relations between the two nations have gone rapidly downhill ever since Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government publicly accused India in September of having a hand in the killing of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was shot to death in the province of British Columbia in June this year.

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