07:49 GMT14 July 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US President Donald Trump during a phone conversation had told the prime minister of Canada that the United States stands by Ottawa in efforts to free Canadians detained in China, said a White House press release.

    "During the call, the President expressed the United States solid commitment to standing by Canada in efforts to secure the fair treatment and release of Canadian citizens currently detained in China," the release said on Thursday.


    A statement from Trudeau's office said the two leaders talked about the two detained men as well as "Canada's ongoing efforts to secure their release." It gave no details, according to Reuters.    

    Chinese-Canadian ties have further strained after the detention of two Canadian citizens, former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor, shortly after Huawei executive's arrest.

    Chinese authorities have denied the allegations that the move was Beijing's retaliation, insisting that the two men posed a threat to national security. 

    Earlier Reuters reported, citing a statement by the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission on its microblog, China has accused ex-diplomat Kovrig of stealing state secrets which were passed on to him from another detained Canadian national, businessman Michael Spavor. 

    READ MORE: China Urges US to Cancel Extradition Request of Huawei CFO From Canada

    The reports followed the decision by the Canadian Department of Justice to grant authorization to proceed with the extradition process in the case of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.    

    Meng Wanzhou was arrested in the Canadian city of Vancouver on 1 December 2018, reportedly, for failing to comply with US sanctions against Iran.

    The arrest was decried by Beijing, which has urged the Canadian authorities to immediately release the Chinese national.       


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    espionage, release, detention, Huawei, Justin Trudeau, Donald Trump, China, Canada, United States
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