US Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, today condemned the detention of two Canadian citizens in China, which he described as "unacceptable" and "unlawful", following a meeting in Washington with the Canadian Foreign Minister, Chrystia. Freeland.
"The illegal detention of the two Canadian citizens is unacceptable and should be released," Pompeo told a news conference after the meeting with Freeland, which was also attended by US Defense Secretary James Mattis and his counterpart. from Canada, Harjit Sajjan.
In that meeting, the representatives of both countries addressed the crisis with China caused by the arrest in Canada, at the request of the US, the financial director and daughter of Huawei founder Meng Wanzhou, who was released on bail this week.
The subsequent arrest in China of Canadian citizens Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor has been interpreted as retaliation for the arrest of Meng.
Pompeo stressed that "the detention of these two Canadian citizens in China has to end."
For his part, Freeland launched at the press conference a veiled criticism of US President Donald Trump, who this week suggested that he would use the arrest of Meng in Canada and the request for extradition as a tool in trade negotiations with China.
In that sense, the minister stressed that the detention of Meng "should not be a tool for politicization purposes."
Freeland said that Meng's arrest was a decision made independently by the Canadian judicial system and that there was no political interference.
"Canada, in stopping Meng, was not impeachment, in Canada there has been no political interference in this matter at all, for Canada it is a matter of complying with its international obligations and Canadian law, and it has happened scrupulously." Freeland declared.
To questions from the media, Pompeo denied that Trump's words have politicized Meng's arrest and pointed out that Washington and Beijing are in trade negotiations, while the US has "several complicated issues" open with China.
"And in all cases we respect the laws, we'll do the same with this," he finished.