US, UK assist Canada in diplomatic dispute with India

The US and Britain on Friday urged New Delhi to not insist on Canada’s decreasing its diplomatic presence in India and expressed concern after Ottawa pulled out 41 diplomats amid a dispute over the homicide of a Sikh separatist.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, walks previous Prime Minister Narendra Modi (AP file picture.)

Canada has alleged Indian involvement within the June homicide in a Vancouver suburb of Canadian citizen and Sikh separatist chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar, whom India referred to as a “terrorist.” India denies the allegation.

“We’re involved by the departure of Canadian diplomats from India, in response to the Indian authorities’s demand of Canada to considerably scale back its diplomatic presence in India,” U.S. State Division spokesperson Matthew Miller stated.

Washington has stated it took Canada’s allegations significantly and, together with London, urged India to cooperate with Canada within the homicide probe at the same time as Western powers have been reluctant to overtly condemn India. Analysts say the U.S. and the UK don’t need to injury ties with India, which they view as a counterbalance to their essential Asian rival China.

However Friday’s statements from the U.S. State Division and Britain’s International Workplace have been probably the most direct criticism by Washington and London of New Delhi so far on this case.

“We don’t agree with the choices taken by the Indian authorities which have resulted in plenty of Canadian diplomats departing India,” a spokesperson for Britain’s International Workplace stated.

Canada withdrew 41 diplomats from India after New Delhi final month requested Ottawa to scale back its diplomatic presence following Canada’s allegations over Nijjar’s killing. Canada on Friday stated it was briefly suspending in-person operations at consulates in a number of Indian cities and warned of visa processing delays.

“Resolving variations requires diplomats on the bottom. We have now urged the Indian authorities to not insist upon a discount in Canada’s diplomatic presence and to cooperate within the ongoing Canadian investigation,” the U.S. State Division stated, including that it expects “India to uphold its obligations below the 1961 Vienna Conference on Diplomatic Relations.”

Britain’s International Workplace additionally cited the Vienna Conference, saying, “The unilateral elimination of the privileges and immunities that present for the protection and safety of diplomats just isn’t according to the ideas or the efficient functioning of the Vienna Conference.”

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh and Costas Pitas; extra reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa and Baranjot Kaur in Bengaluru; Modifying by Josie Kao and Leslie Adler)

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