Readout: Minister of Foreign Affairs meets with U.S. Secretary of State on margins of Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting


May 19, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

Today, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs, met with Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State, on the margins of the 12th Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council.

Minister Garneau and Secretary Blinken discussed the progress made on the priorities established in the Roadmap for a Renewed U.S.-Canada Partnership announced by Prime Minister Trudeau and President Biden in February, including working together on an expanded Canada-U.S. Arctic Dialogue and the important initiatives discussed at the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting currently taking place in Reykjavik, Iceland.

They agreed that cooperation is required to respond to the global pandemic. This includes strengthening multilateral organizations like the World Health Organization. They also discussed joint efforts on vaccine sharing and availability, as well as support to hard-hit nations and people.

They also discussed continued border measures and efforts to stabilize economies and foster growth based on open and effective communication between our two countries. They discussed the importance of continued progress in the fight against climate change, and also recognized the important economic ties between our two countries, including North American supply chains.

Minister Garneau raised the importance of the Line 5 pipeline for both our economies. They also discussed the challenges posed by migration in the Western Hemisphere and ongoing challenges in the region, including in Venezuela and Haiti, as well as ways to address its underlying causes. 

Furthermore, they looked to align efforts to address the challenges that China’s actions present to the international rules-based order, including its coercive and unfair economic practices and human rights abuses, while cooperating with China on areas of common interest, such as climate change.

They reiterated their commitment to secure the release of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who have been arbitrarily detained in China since December 2018 and which remains Minister Garneau’s top priority.

Secretary Blinken highlighted the United States’ strong and continued support of the Declaration Against the Use of Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State Relations.

They also underlined the need to coordinate approaches on key global issues, particularly the ongoing violence in the Middle East, including the devastating situation in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. Minister Garneau reiterated that Canada is calling for a ceasefire and continues to urge all parties to take immediate steps to end the violence, de-escalate tensions, and protect civilians, including journalists, humanitarian workers and refugees, as required by international law. Canada remains gravely concerned by the continued expansion of settlements, demolitions, and evictions, including the ongoing cases in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan.

Our two countries stand firmly with the Israeli and Palestinian people in their right to live in peace, security, with dignity, without fear, and with their human rights respected and we will always stand ready to support efforts for a two-state solution.

Minister Garneau offered Canada’s full support for efforts to put an end to the violence and suffering.

Minister Garneau and Secretary Blinken addressed the challenges posed by Russia and its disruptive actions, notably the large-scale troop movements, without prior notification, in and around Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Crimea.

They concluded by reiterating their shared commitment for an upcoming global democracy summit.

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Syrine Khoury
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Media Relations Office
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