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Pompeo speaks to Freeland, discusses 'shared concerns' about Beijing's 'unjustified detention' of Canadian citizens

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Washington D.C. | July 8, 2020 5:11:48 AM IST
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday (local time) spoke to Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland wherein the two leaders discussed "shared concerns" about Beijing's "unjustified detention and charging" of Canadian citizens Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig.

The two leaders also discussed China's imposition of controversial national security law on Hong Kong.

"Secretary Michael R. Pompeo spoke today with Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland. Secretary Pompeo and Deputy Prime Minister Freeland celebrated the entry into force of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on July 1, an agreement that will help U.S., Mexican, and Canadian businesses and consumers," according to US State Department.

"In addition to our economic relationship, the two leaders also discussed shared concerns about Beijing's unjustified detention and charging of Canadian citizens Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, as well as China's imposition of draconian national security legislation on Hong Kong," the statement from state department read.

Former diplomat Kovrig and businessman Spavor have been detained in China since their arrest in December 2018.

The "two Michaels" as they are often referred to are widely seen to be pawns in a diplomatic row between the two countries that began with the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on December 1, 2018.

Beijing was incensed over Meng's arrest and demanded her immediate release, but Canada did not comply. Ten days later, Kovrig and Spavor were arrested. The pair have languished in jail for 18 months without official charges. (ANI)

 
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