Ottawa: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday said his government is “not looking to escalate” diplomatic tensions with India but did not say if his government would engage in a tit for tat response as the latter asked Ottawa to pull out 41 diplomats.
Trudeau was speaking as he arrived to attend the Liberal caucus meeting here on Tuesday, in wake of India seeking removal of 41 diplomats by October 10, following which it would revoke their diplomatic immunity, the CBC reported.
To a question if his government would retaliate on the diplomatic front, Trudeau contended his government would try to keep working with India.
“We’re not looking to escalate, as I’ve said, we’re going to be doing the work that matters in continuing to have constructive relations with India through this extremely difficult time,” he said.
Bilateral ties between the two countries have nose-dived recently, after Trudeau said there were “credible allegations” of Indian involvement in the assassination of Khalistani activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June.
Trudeau said Canada’s diplomatic relationship with India is “going through an extremely challenging time” and that the ongoing dispute between the two countries has made it “important for us to have diplomats on the ground working with the Indian government there to support Canadians and Canadian families”, the CBC said.
He said that his government is taking the diplomatic dispute “extremely seriously” and is going to continue to try and “engage responsibly and constructively” with India to sort it out.
Opposition Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre said he is very concerned about India’s decision to ask for the removal of Canadian diplomats and that his party will “monitor the situation” to protect Canadians here and abroad.