The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today spoke with Dominic Raab, the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs.
The ministers discussed the depth of Canada-United Kingdom relations, common values, our valuable work through multilateral cooperation and the enduring transatlantic alliance, all of which will help advance areas of mutual interest and make us stronger. They highlighted the United Kingdom’s current G7 presidency and the UN’s Glasgow Climate Change Conference as key opportunities to advance the 2 countries’ shared global priorities of addressing climate change and reduce inequalities.
Minister Garneau conveyed Canada’s appreciation for the United Kingdom’s steadfast and vocal support on the arbitrary detention of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. He also highlighted the incredible perseverance and determination of these Canadians, who have been detained for more than 2 years in China. These men remain an absolute priority for the Government of Canada as it continues to call for their immediate release. Minister Garneau also voiced his appreciation for the United Kingdom’s support of the Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State Relations that was outlined last month.
The ministers vowed to continue speaking out about the human rights situation in China. They discussed China’s crackdown on Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region who have been subjected to mass arbitrary detention, political re-education, forced labour, torture, forced sterilization and sexual violence. The ministers call on China to allow an international and independent expert investigation into allegations of genocide in Xinjiang.
On the crisis in Myanmar, the ministers noted the recent G7 statement that condemns without reservation the recent violence perpetrated by Myanmar’s security forces against peaceful protestors. They also noted the call for the security forces to immediately and unconditionally release those detained arbitrarily, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint. The ministers acknowledged the importance of coordinating sanctions and highlighted the recent Canada-United Kingdom joint announcement of targeted sanctions in response to the coup d’état in Myanmar.
Finally, Minister Garneau recognized that today is the third anniversary of the Salisbury attack, and stated that Canada stands unequivocally with the United Kingdom in denouncing the use of chemical weapons.