U.S. Secretary of state Mike Pompeo stated that American officials are “tirelessly” working, trying to negotiate the release of two Canadians detained in China.
He made these comments during a brief comment to journalists shortly after his arrival in Ottawa on Thursday morning on his first official visit on the eve of the G7 summit in Biarritz, France this weekend. Presumably, the main theme of the meeting of leaders will be the fate of Michael Kovriga and Michael Spavor, as well as methods of dealing with the Chinese aggression more broadly.
“Please take note that our team is focused on trying to help these two Canadians to regain freedom,” he said.
“China must honour the commitments it has assumed before the world, and we expect that they will. We are working hard in this direction.”
Pompeo also stressed the desire to ratify the Treaty CUSMA (Canada-USA-Mexico), new trade agreement NAFTA.
His comments followed the statements of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in which he also raised the issue of detained a few minutes earlier.
China detained Kovriga and Spawar, accusing them of endangering national security in December 2018, just days after canadian border authorities have arrested the financial Director of Huawei Meng Wanzhou, at the request of the United States.
Next month the United States accused man and her company on 23 counts of corporate espionage and the violation of sanctions against Iran.
China has repeatedly linked the detention of Canadians with the arrest of the man.
Man challenges extradition in the United States in litigation which can take years.
Canadian officials have repeatedly urged the United States to do more efforts for the release of Canadians and to exert pressure on China.
Trudeau said that the question of what else can be done, will be in the list of topics that will be discussed on Thursday.
“We have many issues ahead of G7, a lot of global problems, he said. – Of course, we’re going to talk about the difficult situation in which these two Canadians in China and thank Americans for their support in this matter and how to proceed”.
The Minister of foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland and Pompeo are planning to hold a joint press conference on Thursday afternoon, where they probably will be asked questions about how the U.S. is ready to take part in the fate of detained Canadians.
Trudeau is going on Friday to fly to the G7 summit.