Edmonton – Canada’s ambassador to the US says the Chinese government has started talks to release Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.
Speaking to Granthshala’s Question Hour on Sunday, Ambassador Kirsten Hillman said judicial talks of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou’s case with the US Justice Department came close to a resolution, ahead of pressure from China to release the two Canadians. started bowing down.
“I feel that after feeling incredible pressure from Canada for over 1,000 days” [and] From our allies around the world that we gathered regarding Michaels’ position … I think the Chinese government decided that, you know, it was time to put that behind them and move on,” Hillman said.
Kovrig and Spavor, who were detained on espionage charges since December 10, 2018, arrived in Canada on Saturday, just a day after a British Columbia court dropped the extradition case against Meng on charges of fraud and conspiracy related to US sanctions against Iran. Gave.
The detention of the two Canadians has largely been seen as retaliation for the arrest of the Chinese telecommunications giant CFO, although China has consistently denied that the cases were in any way connected.
Asked whether it was a matter of hostage diplomacy, Hillman said the facts appeared to be so.
“Well, I mean, I think everyone is concluding that the facts demonstrate [that],” Hillman said.
She says the US did not make the release of the two Michaels a condition of the resolution of the charges against Meng, noting that the resolution was a completely independent process.
“As the resolution for Ms. Meng progressed to success … the Chinese government made its decision,” she said.
“And his decision was that it was not in his best interest to continue with Michaels, and so he began the process of talking to our officials in Beijing about making arrangements to release Michaels.”
Hillman thanked “incredibly talented” consular officials in Beijing and Ottawa for their hard work behind the scenes in bringing Michaels home, in addition to Canadian allies who stood up in the declaration against arbitrary detention.
“I think it’s really important to underscore … that Canada has never shied away from its commitment to international law. We have never succumbed to the pressures that, unfortunately, were the victims of two Michaels, Hillman said.
“It’s not specifically focused on China, you know, there are other countries that engage in this kind of strategy and I think we have to think about what we can do from here to ensure that May it never happen again.”