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Diplomacy in Action

03. U.S.-Canada letters re non-binding understanding concerning removal of citizens to third countries (January 13, 2004)


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CANADIAN TEXT

(as signed by Foreign Minister Graham)

I refer to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, to which both Canada and the United States are Parties, and have the honour to address to you the following.

 The Convention recognizes that consular functions include issuing passports and travel documents to nationals of the sending state and otherwise helping and assisting nationals of the sending state who are in the receiving state. Both Canada and the United States share an interest in helping and assisting their respective nationals when they travel abroad.

In light of our mutual interest, when a known United States national is to be subject to involuntary removal from Canada to a country other than the United States, except in cases of extradition, Canada undertakes to advise the American principal point of contact of the intended removal.

Similarly, when a known Canadian national is to be subject to involuntary removal from the United States to a country other than Canada, except in cases of extradition, the United States undertakes to advise the Canadian principal point of contact of the intended removal.

Canada and the United States also undertake to consult expeditiously upon request by either country concerning any such case of removal that may arise in the future.

The principal point of contact for being advised and for consultations for Canada will be the Director General of the Consular Affairs Bureau of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. For the United States, the principal point of contact will be the Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs at the Department of State.

In the case of a Canadian national being so removed from the United States, U.S. immigration authorities will provide the relevant information to the United States principal point of contact, who will advise the Canadian principal point of contact. In the case of a United States national being so removed from Canada, Canadian immigration authorities will provide the relevant information to the Canadian principal point of contact, who will advise the United States principal point of contact. Consultations will occur between the principal points of contact or their designees.

I have the honour to propose that this letter and your reply constitute an Understanding between our two Governments on the procedures to be followed in the above circumstances. This understanding is not intended to create or otherwise alter treaty or other legal obligations for either Government nor to create or otherwise alter rights or privileges for private parties.

U.S. TEXT

Dear Mr. Minister:

I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your letter of today's date concerning the removal of citizens of each on our countries from the territory of the other.

I accept your proposal that your letter and this reply

constitute an Understanding between our two Governments on the procedures to be followed in such circumstances. I accept that this Understanding is not intended to create binding obligations under international law for either government, nor to create or otherwise alter rights or privileges for private parties.

Sincerely,

-s-

Colin L. Powell

The Honorable

William Graham

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Ottawa, Canada



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