Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Thursday said that no country should discuss internal matters of other nations’ in its Parliament, according to an official statement.
Birla made the remarks during a bilateral meeting in Rome with Lindsay Hoyle, the Speaker of the United Kingdom’s House of Commons. Birla is in Rome to lead Indian delegation to a two-day G20 Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit, which will end on Friday.
“Shri Birla said that every country has its own sovereignty which other countries should respect,” the Lok Sabha Speaker’s office stated. “No country should raise the internal affairs of other countries in its Parliament unless those matters affect the interests of that country.”
The statement added, “Both leaders agreed that the Members of their Parliaments must exchange views through parliamentary diplomacy and try to find out how democratic institutions can be strengthened in the interest of the people.”
In March, several British MPs had held discussions in the country’s Parliament about the farmers’ protest in India. Legislators from the Liberal Democrats, Labour Party and the Scottish National Party had expressed concern about the safety of the farmers protesting the Centre’s new agriculture laws and the targeting of journalists covering the agitation.
In response, India’s Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla had summoned the British High Commissioner and objected to the “unwarranted and tendentious” discussion.