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On the agenda


 

From Canwest’s account of Ignatieff in Quebec City.

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff will raise the fate of Omar Khadr — the only Canadian imprisoned in the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay — when he meets Thursday with U.S. President Barack Obama.

The Liberal leader has taken on a campaign, along with other opposition leaders, to repatriate the 22-year-old detainee and recently urged Obama in a letter to release Khadr immediately. But he refused to say if he will use this meeting to ask the U.S. president to pressure the Canadian government to repatriate Khadr.

“I don’t think you ever put pressure on the President of the United States,” he said. “He’s our guest, we will welcome him with friendship and affection and we will have a frank and clear discussion.”

Ignatieff added, he intends to congratulate Obama on his decision to close the U.S. prison camp.

“We want to help Mr. Obama in any way we can to bring the Guantanamo Bay episode to a close and that necessarily means that Mr. Khadr, a Canadian citizen, should come home and face justice in Canada,” Ignatieff told reporters in Quebec City.


 

On the agenda

  1. I don’t think you ever put pressure on the President of the United States

    I mean, realistically, this is probably true, but the way it’s worded here seems to suggest that our leaders shouldn’t at least try to put pressure on the President where Canadian interests are at stake. Haven’t opposition leaders (including Harper during his stint) consistently cried for the government of the day to put pressure on the US President to do this or do that? Fix softwood lumber! Get rid of Buy America provisions! Etc.! Isn’t that pretty much a fall back attack line for opposition politicians when the US does something we don’t like?

    And yes, for those of us with long memories, I did criticize Aaron for overthinking a context-less, toss away line from a Canadian politician a week or so ago. However, in my defence, I don’t get paid for this stuff. Also, in my defence, Wherry’s quote was a flimsy six worder, where mine is a far more robust 14 words.

  2. I’m glad to see Ignatieff stepping up to the plate on this. Not mentioning it at all, after sending that public letter to President Obama urging his repatriation, would have been a rather hollow gesture.

  3. Hmm, I think perhaps “we will have a frank and clear discussion” implies pressure of a sort. ( Perhaps a nuanced leader will take some getting used to )

  4. “Omar Khadr — the only Canadian imprisoned in the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay”

    I understand that Khadr is actually the non-Westerner still imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay.

    Which highlights the absurdity of the Conservative position(s) on this. At this point, their only rational seems to be not wanting to flip flop on yet again on another over-the-top, overly-strongly argued prior position.

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