New Delhi, October 13: Amid the diplomatic row with India, Canadian Senate Speaker Raymonde Gagne is not attending the 9th G20 Parliamentary Speakers' Summit (P20) and Parliamentary Forum set to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today. Speakers and heads of delegation of Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Spain, European Parliament, Italy, South Africa, Russia, Turkey, Nigeria, Australia, Brazil, UAE, Singapore, Japan, Egypt and Bangladesh are present in the event.

The inaugural day of the 9th G20 Parliamentary Speakers' Summit (P20) and Parliamentary Forum to hold two separate sessions today. The first session comprises a discussion on 'One Earth, One Family, One Future' with Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) showcasing achievements and accelerating progress. However, the second session is on 'One Earth Sustainable Energy Transition-Gateway to Green Future'. P20 Summit 2023: PM Narendra Modi To Inaugurate 9th G20 Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit Today in Delhi.

On Thursday, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that India has extended invitation to all members for P20. However, attending the meeting is the decision of the participating country. While addressing the weekly briefing, Arindam Bagchi said, "We invite all members for G20 events, in this case, P20. Participation is their decision and a subject to a number of factors. I think you should ask them. I will have to check whether anybody actually attended from Canada because I think the parliament Speaker could not attend".

Bagchi also emphasized India's commitment to achieving parity in the number of diplomats and reiterated the need for Canada to take its international obligations seriously, particularly concerning the security of Indian diplomats in Canada. "We remain committed to what we said, ensuring parity in our diplomatic presence. We remain engaged with the Canadian authorities on the modalities of achieving that," he said. P20 Summit 2023: G20 Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit To Be Preceded by Parliamentary Forum on Mission LiFE on October 12.

"We would urge Canada to take more seriously, the international obligations of providing security to our diplomats and their premises. From our part, I can assure you that everything that India is doing, is in compliance with the Vienna Convention," Bagchi further said.

The diplomatic ties between India and Canada deteriorated after the Canadian government expelled a senior Indian diplomat alleging India of playing a role in the assassination of a Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. However, India has outrightly rejected the claims, calling it 'absurd' and 'motivated'.

In the aftermath, India swiftly retaliated by issuing a statement that denied any involvement in the issue and expelled a senior Canadian diplomat. Notably, Canada is yet to provide any public evidence to support the claim about the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

Responding to reports claiming that India has asked Canada to remove 41 of its 62 diplomats in the country, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi earlier this month said that Canadian diplomatic presence is much higher in India and they assume "there would be reduction". Nijjar, who was a designated terrorist in India, was gunned down outside a Gurdwara Canada's Surrey on June 18.

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