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Canada Trudeau criticized for shaking hands with Iranian foreign minister after deadly plane crash

20:30  14 february  2020
20:30  14 february  2020 Source:   globalnews.ca

Iran doesn't have expertise to analyze PS752 recorders: Champagne

  Iran doesn't have expertise to analyze PS752 recorders: Champagne ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne says Iran doesn't have experts who can analyze the data recorders from a civilian airliner it shot down last month and it's time to send the black boxes out of the country. "I think they have understood from the different civil aviation authorities in the world that the kind of equipment and expertise that you need to read the black boxes cannot be brought to Iran," Champagne"I think they have understood from the different civil aviation authorities in the world that the kind of equipment and expertise that you need to read the black boxes cannot be brought to Iran," Champagne said at a news conference in Ethiopia, where he's travelling with Prim

François-Philippe Champagne wearing a suit and tie: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.© Iranian Foreign Ministry Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is facing criticism over new photographs showing him shaking hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

The meeting on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference on Friday quickly sparked criticism online given that Iran shot down a passenger plane last month near Tehran killing all 176 on board, including 57 Canadians. Since then, it has refused to hand over the black boxes recovered from the crash site.

READ MORE: Iran must accept it lacks ‘technical capability’ to analyze plane crash black boxes, says Champagne

Second plane for Canadians in Wuhan on its way to Asia: foreign minister

  Second plane for Canadians in Wuhan on its way to Asia: foreign minister ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Canada's foreign minister says a second plane has left for Asia to bring a second load of Canadians out of the Chinese city locked down over a viral outbreak. Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne made the announcement Sunday in Ethiopia, where he's travelling with Justin Trudeau on the prime minister's Africa tour. He said the passenger list is still being compiled but he expects the charter flight to be just about full when it leaves Wuhan."The plane would be leaving on the 10th of February, bringing back the last group of Canadians who want to be repatriated on the 11th," Champagne said.

Iranian state propaganda platforms posted images of that meeting after the fact.

Trudeau was questioned by reporters on Friday about why he stopped in on the scheduled meeting between Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne and Zarif, and defended the move.

“I made a promise to families in Canada to do everything I could to make sure that they get answers, that we have a full and complete investigation, that we understand exactly what happened," he said.

“I went by to impress upon the foreign minister of Iran how important it is that we work together.”

News of the handshake and meeting prompted academics, political critics and human rights activists to question Trudeau's decision.

"Not a good look to see PM Trudeau with smiling FM Zarif of Iran after Canadians killed at the hands of Iranian incompetence and malice on Ukrainian plane- not to mention the innocent Iranian protestors‘ killed," tweeted Bessma Momani, senior fellow with the Centre for International Governance Innovation and an expert on Canadian relations with Iran.

Kaveh Shahrooz, senior fellow with the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, tweeted that while shaking hands sometimes comes with the job, it should have been avoided in this instance given Iran's killing of the 57 Canadians, which had originally been pegged at 63 when the tragedy first occurred.

"Look, I get that leaders sometimes have to shake hands with unsavoury people," he tweeted. "But Iran just killed 63 Canadians. Maybe the PM could've avoided this particular photo op. Maybe a UNSC seat isn't worth a firesale of every last thing Canadians hold dear."

'Important that we work together': Trudeau defends handshake with Iranian foreign minister months after plane crash

  'Important that we work together': Trudeau defends handshake with Iranian foreign minister months after plane crash MUNICH — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended his decision Friday to meet with Iran’s foreign minister after he was criticized for greeting Mohammad Javad Zarif with a handshake. A photo of the handshake was immediately posted online by Iranian state propaganda platforms. A photo of the handshake was immediately posted online by Iranian state propaganda platforms.

Masih Alinejad, an Iranian journalist with Voice of America's Persian service, said the families of the plane crash victims are "furious."

Conservative MP Peter Kent also accused Trudeau in a tweet of "shaking hands with Iran's chief propagandist and cheerleader for [the] regime's terrorist agenda."

READ MORE: Trudeau says without recent escalations, Iran plane crash victims would be ‘home with their families’

Iranian minister to appear at Canadian hosted meeting of Tehran crash victims

  Iranian minister to appear at Canadian hosted meeting of Tehran crash victims MUNICH — Iran's foreign minister is to make a brief appearance today at a meeting hosted in Germany by Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne with counterparts from countries that lost citizens the Ukrainian jetliner crash near Tehran last month. Canada and its allies are pushing Iran to release the black boxes from the crash so their data can be properly analysed by facilities in France.

Canada and Iran do not have formal diplomatic relations — the former Conservative government shuttered the embassy and cut off ties in 2012.

The Liberal government initially promised to reopen that embassy but has not done so.

But the downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 by Iran last month has forced rare direct communication between top Canadian officials and their Iranian counterparts as Canada and other countries that lost citizens in the crash attempt to push for accountability.

Those efforts have included calls for Iran to hand over the two flight recorders recovered from the site of the crash so that they can be decoded and analyzed.

Iran has refused to do so.

Champagne tweeted a readout of the meeting, which said he used the meeting to stress the need for Iran to send the black boxes to France for analysis and agree to compensate the families of victims.

He said countries have been "speaking with one voice" in urging Iran to hand over the recordings.

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests .
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is cancelling his planned trip to the Caribbean this week amid criticism over his government's handling of a series of anti-pipeline protests that have disrupted rail service in parts of Canada. The Prime Minister's Office announced the cancellation Sunday evening, less than 24 hours before Trudeau was scheduled to fly to Barbados where he was expected to pitch Caribbean leaders on why Canada should get a seat on the United Nations Security Council. The PMO says Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne will represent Canada in his stead as Trudeau stays put to deal with the ongoing protests.

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