WASHINGTON, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke late Monday with his Canadian counterpart Francois-Philippe Champagne during which they discussed China’s detainment of two Canadians.
“Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Minister Champagne discussed the arbitrary detention of two Canadian citizens, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig,” State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.
The statement affirmed that the US “stands with Canada in calling on Beijing for the immediate release of the two men and rejects the use of these unjustified detentions to coerce Canada.” Beijing detained ex-diplomat Kovrig and entrepreneur Spavor in December 2018 in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release Meng Wanzhou, a top executive at Chinese tech giant Huawei, who was arrested at the request of US authorities who want her to face fraud charges in the US.
For his part, Pompeo tweeted “it was a pleasure” speaking with the Canadian Foreign Minister “about our work to push back on Beijing’s coercive detentions of Canadian citizens and to advance peace and prosperity globally.” In an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) last week, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stressed that his country is “simply applying the rule of law and a long-standing extradition treaty with our closest partner.
“For China to have detained two Canadians in retaliation demonstrates that they don’t entirely appreciate how our justice system works,” he added.
Source: Kuwait News Agency