US working “diligently” to free Canadians held in China – Pompeo

WASHINGTON, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that President Donald Trump brought up China’s detainment of Canadians directly with China’s president and said the Trump administration is working “diligently” to return them to Canada.

Pompeo made the remarks during a trip to Ottawa for talks with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canada’s foreign minister.

Beijing detained ex-diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor on Dec. 10 in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release Meng Wanzhou, a top executive at Chinese tech giant Huawei.

She was arrested Dec. 1 at the request of US authorities who want her to face fraud charges in the United States.

“Please do know our team is focused on helping those two Canadians be released,” Pompeo said to Trudeau, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and members of the media, adding “we’re working on it diligently.

Pompeo said he was there when Trump brought up the detained Canadians with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit in Japan in late June.

He said Trump made an unambiguous statement about America’s concern about the “inappropriate behavior.”

Source: Kuwait News Agency