July 21st, 2024

Canada has pulled most envoys out of India due to diplomatic immunity threats: Joly

By Dylan Robertson, The Canadian Press on October 19, 2023.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

OTTAWA – Foreign Affairs”¯Minister Mélanie Joly says Canada has removed most of its diplomatic presence from India after New Delhi threatened to strip diplomatic immunities from them and their families.

Joly says New Delhi threatened to remove immunities on Friday, so Canada called back 41 diplomats and their 42 dependents, leaving just 21 diplomats in the country.

She decried the threat as a violation of international law that escalates tensions between the two countries and would have made it unsafe for diplomats to stay, and she said Canada would not reciprocate the move.

Joly says Canada’s high commission in New Delhi remains operational, but Ottawa has paused in-person services at consulates in Chandigarh, Mumbai and Bangalore.

Immigration Minister Marc Miller says the lower staff levels will hamper the issuing of visas and permits.

Relations with New Delhi have hit a deep freeze since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a month ago that Canadian intelligence services were investigating “a potential link” between India’s government and the killing of a Sikh leader near Vancouver.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 19, 2023.

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