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Business News/ News / India/  EXPLAINED: What are the Vienna conventions cited by Canada amid diplomatic row with India?
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EXPLAINED: What are the Vienna conventions cited by Canada amid diplomatic row with India?

41 diplomats withdrawn from India; Canada and US call for adherence to Vienna Convention

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden shakes hands with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks, at the Bavarian resort of Schloss Elmau castle, near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany June 27, 2022. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo (REUTERS)Premium
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden shakes hands with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks, at the Bavarian resort of Schloss Elmau castle, near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany June 27, 2022. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo (REUTERS)

The India-Canada crisis took a fresh turn on Friday as 41 diplomats were withdrawn from the country. Both Canada and the US have since called for New Delhi to uphold its obligations under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations while the MEA insists that its actions had not gone against international laws.

India asserted that its move was aimed at ensuring diplomatic parity and remained fully consistent with the international conventions. 

"Our actions in implementing this parity are fully consistent with Article 11.1 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations…We reject any attempt to portray the implementation of parity as a violation of international norms," the MEA said in a statement.

What is the Vienna Convention?

The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations is an international treaty signed by 61 countries in 1961. It puts forth a framework for diplomatic interactions between independent nations and aims to ensure the ‘development of friendly relations among nations’. At present 193 countries are party to the document. 

What is Article 11.1 about?

"India insists that its actions are consistent with the tenets set forth in Article 11.1 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. This particular segment pertains to the size of international missions within other countries. 

“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," the Vienna Convention postulates. 

What rules have the US and Canada warned India against flouting?

Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly claimed on Thursday that India had “formally conveyed its plan to unilaterally remove diplomatic immunities" for more than 40 diplomats in Delhi. 

"This means 41 Canadian diplomats and their 42 dependents were in danger of having immunity stripped on an arbitrary date, and this would put their personal safety at risk," she had said during a news conference in Ottawa.

Meanwhile US Sttate department spokesperson Matthew Miller has urged India to uphold its international obligations – including those pertaining to “privileges and immunities enjoyed by accredited members of Canada’s diplomatic mission".

Under the Vienna Convention a diplomatic agent enjoys immunity from the criminal jurisdiction of the receiving State. Such individuals are also provided with immunity from its civil and administrative jurisdiction – with a few exceptions. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 21 Oct 2023, 05:55 AM IST
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