Biden discusses Canadian citizens detained in China with Trudeau

President Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attend a Group of Seven summit in England
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President Biden spoke with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau by phone on Monday and discussed the detention of two Canadian citizens in China, the White House announced.

The two leaders “discussed the two Canadian citizens — Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor — who are unjustly detained by the People’s Republic of China. The President condemned their arbitrary detention and reiterated his commitment to stand strong with Canada to secure their release,” the White House said in a readout of the call.

Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat, and Spavor, a businessman, were detained in China in December 2018. Although China denies it, the arrests of the two men were in apparent retaliation for the detention of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver, which came at the request of the U.S.

Biden also called Trudeau in April to discuss the detention of Kovrig and Spavor.

On the call on Monday, Biden “underscored” the close relationship between the United States and Canada.

“They also discussed bilateral economic cooperation and their shared commitment to strengthening the resilience and competitiveness of the U.S. and Canadian economies,” the White House said.

Additionally, the president thanked Trudeau for the Montreal smoked meats that the prime minister sent him to settle their bet over the Stanley Cup Final. The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Montreal Canadiens last month.

Biden and Trudeau were together in person at the Group of Seven summit in England in June.

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