New Delhi, October 21
The US and the UK have backed Canadian PM Justin Trudeau’s charge that the expulsion of two-thirds of the Canadian diplomats from India was an “unfriendly act that amounted to a violation of the Vienna Convention governing diplomacy”.
“It is something that all countries in the world should be very worried about,” Trudeau said shortly after India sent home 41 Canadian diplomats to achieve parity with the strength of its diplomats posted in Canada. The move has led to Canada suspending all in-person services at its consulates, including Chandigarh.
The US, the UK and Canada are members of the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance, reckoned to be the most pervasive surveillance network in the world that even spies on its allies. Its core members are the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Only New Zealand has not rushed to Canada’s defence on the controversy emanating from the murder of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
The US State Department issued a statement shortly after Trudeau’s statement in which it said that it had urged India not to insist upon a reduction in Canada’s diplomatic presence. Stating that resolving differences requires diplomats to be on the ground, the US supported Canada’s contention that by expelling the diplomats, India did not live up to the obligations under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.