Trudeau to meet with Trump next week ahead of G20 summit

Trudeau to meet with Trump next week ahead of G20 summit

Trudeau to meet with Trump next week ahead of G20 summit

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump are to discuss continental trade and their shared challenges with China in a meeting in Washington next week.

The June 20 visit will be his first to Washington since 2017, and will come after once-tense personal relations with Trump appear to have warmed.

Businessman Michael Spavor and former diplomat Michael Kovrig were detained separately in December, shortly after Canada arrested Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver on a US extradition warrant.

The disclosure comes amid growing domestic calls for Trudeau to step up pressure on China to release the two Canadians, whom his government has said were arbitrarily detained.

China has said it suspects Spavor and Kovrig - who works for the International Crisis Group think-tank - of separately collecting and stealing state secrets.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland on Thursday dismissed a suggestion that Ottawa block the extradition of a top executive from China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd to the United States, saying it would set a risky precedent.

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In response, Ottawa has rallied a dozen countries to its side, including Britain, France, Germany and the United States, as well as the European Union, NATO and the G7.

Canada's foreign ministry said its China consular officials visited Kovrig yesterday, the eighth time they have seen him since his detention.

Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland speaks during a news conference at the Canadian Embassy in Washington D.C., U.S., June 13, 2019.

"It would set a very risky precedent for Canada to alter its behaviour when it comes to honouring an extradition treaty in response to external pressure", she said, adding that it "could make all Canadians around the world less safe".

"I look forward to meeting with President Trump to discuss the ratification of the new NAFTA, and how we can continue to strengthen our vital trade and economic partnership", Trudeau said in the statement announcing the visit.

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