Friday, 22 September, 2017

Canada working on reopening its embassy in Tehran, PM Trudeau says

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Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said his country is working on reopening its embassy in Tehran.

In a meeting with the Toronto Star editorial board, Trudeau announced that he is working on re-establishing diplomatic ties with Iran.

‘Asked Justin Trudeau at Toronto Star editorial board meeting if he’s ready to reopen Canadian embassy in Iran. Answer: Working on it’, Politics Columnist for the Toronto Star Martin Regg Cohn tweeted on Friday.

“We’re continuing to engage … but we’re being very cautious and responsible about it,” Trudeau said in the meeting.

“I’m under no illusion about some the challenges that Iran is facing internally and poses on the regional and indeed global stage,” the prime minister said. “But as I’ve said many times, I think it’s important to talk to people you disagree with.”

The previous Conservative government closed Canada’s embassy in Tehran and expelled Iranian diplomats from Ottawa in 2012. Asked whether the Liberal government was looking to reverse that decision, Trudeau sounded a cautious note.

“It’s something we are working towards but not something that we’re going to make an imminent announcement on,” Thestar quoted Trudeau as saying.

In Septemebr, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met his Canadian counterpart Stéphane Dion for the first time since Tehran and Ottawa severed relations in 2012.

The meeting was held on the sideline of the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

In June, Dion said talks between the two countries have started and that things would proceed step by step “at the official level, in neutral territory.”

During the election campaign, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau made it known that if he was elected he would seek to re-engage with Iran, not because disagreements were over between the two countries, but because diplomatic isolation was ineffective, he argued.

The two countries maintain interest sections in the embassies of third countries.

 

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