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'Great for Canada' if United States drops extradition request for Huawei CFO

'Great for Canada' if United States drops extradition request for Huawei CFO

In a statement Saturday afternoon, Trudeau said he asked for, and accepted, McCallum's resignation Friday night, mere days before a key deadline on the extradition case against Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou.

McCallum was quoted telling a gathering of Chinese-language journalists in Toronto that he thought she had a strong case to fight extradition to the USA and listed several arguments he thought could help her with her case.

Mr Trudeau said in a statement he had asked John McCallum to step down, but did not offer a reason.

But the Toronto Star newspaper on Friday quoted the envoy as saying that if Washington dropped the extradition request "that would be great for Canada".

Andrew Scheer, leader of the official opposition Conservative Party, said in a tweet that Trudeau "should have fired his ambassador the moment he interfered in this case" and accused the prime minister of weakness and indecision.

Trudeau says Jim Nickel, deputy head of mission at the Embassy of Canada in Beijing, will represent the country in China as charge d'affaires effective immediately.

Meng was arrested in Vancouver last month over alleged violations of USA sanctions on Iran.

Brock University professor Charles Burton, a former Canadian diplomat who had served two postings in China, said McCallum's comments on Meng possibly avoiding extradition had signaled to Beijing that its hard line tactics were working. He also thanked McCallum for his 20 years of public service.

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"I regret that my comments with respect to the legal proceedings of Ms. Meng have created confusion".

Michael Kovrig (left) and Michael Spavor, the two Canadians detained in China, are shown in these 2018 images taken from video.

"We have to make sure that if the USA does such a deal, it also includes the release of our two people".

China detained two Canadians shortly after Meng's arrest in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release her.

Global Affairs Canada did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"What is worse is this is happening in the middle of the crisis when we need all-hands on deck", Saint-Jacques said.

Saint-Jacques said he spoke to China's consul general in Montreal on Thursday who reported that China is furious at Canada for arresting Meng on behalf of the US, which is involved in a trade talks with China. "As the government has consistently made clear, there has been no political involvement in this process".

Meng was arrested December 1 at Vancouver's airport on an extradition request from the U.S. She was freed on bail by a B.C. Supreme Court judge and is due back in court on February 6.