UK PM Sunak, Trudeau stress need for de-escalation of India-Canada row

NEW DELHI: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stressed the need for de-escalation in the India-Canada diplomatic row and the importance of respect for the rule of law in a call. The conversation was primarily centered on the standoff arising from the killing of a Khalistani extremist leader in Canada in June.
According to a Downing Street statement , British PM Sunak spoke with his Canadian counterpart Trudeau and was briefed on the situation concerning Canadian diplomats in India on Friday evening. Both the leaders agreed to maintain contact as Sunak reaffirmed the UK’s stance on respecting the rule of law following Canada’s claim of Indian involvement in the killing of a wanted pro-Khalistan terrorist.
“Prime Minister Trudeau received an update on the situation concerning Canadian diplomats in India,” stated Downing Street.
PM Sunak reiterated the UK’s stance that all nations must honor sovereignty and uphold the rule of law, including the principles of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. He expressed hope for a de-escalation and agreed to stay in touch with PM Trudeau regarding the next steps.
The Canadian Prime Minister’s Office in Ottawa echoed the statement, affirming that Trudeau had given an update on the ongoing situation between Canada and India.
The leaders stressed the importance of respect to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and securing the well-being of their citizens. They highlighted the significance of de-escalation in this context and pledged to maintain close communication, further committing to collaborative efforts on global challenges, as stated in the Canadian government’s statement.
This call followed Trudeau’s statement in the Canadian Parliament last month, where he mentioned that Canadian security forces were actively pursuing credible allegations linking Indian government agents to the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a leader of the Khalistan Tiger Force, in British Columbia in June. India strongly rejected these allegations as “absurd and motivated”.
The telephone conversation between the two leaders took place shortly after the fallout from the diplomatic dispute resonated in the UK when Indian High Commissioner Vikram Doraiswami was stopped during his planned visit to a Gurudwara in Glasgow, Scotland, last week by pro-Khalistan extremists.
UK Foreign Office minister for Indo-Pacific, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, wrote on X, “Concerned to see that the Indian High Commissioner, Vikram Doraiswami, was stopped from meeting with the Gurudwara committee at the Gurudwara in Glasgow. The safety and security of foreign diplomats is of utmost importance and our places of worship in the UK must be open to all.”
In recent events, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) mentioned that it’s been working with its mission in Ottawa and consulates in other cities in Canada to address safety concerns.
MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, in New Delhi, said “We have been taking up concerns of security of our diplomats and premises from people there who are wanted by our security and our judicial systems, and we will continue to do that as that is a continued conversation. The issue is about security, and our diplomats are safe and the community is not targeted.”
Bagchi mentioned that talks are ongoing about how to reach a mutual agreement on diplomatic presence, but India is clear that it won’t review its position on this issue.
India has also said that Canada should reduce its diplomatic presence in our country to make things equal in terms of numbers and claimed that some Canadian diplomats are meddling in New Delhi’s internal matters.

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