Champagne meets Iranian counterpart as Trudeau is set to speak on PS752
OTTAWA — Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne is meeting with his Iranian counterpart to talk about the downing of flight PS752 last week.
Champagne is in Oman to meet face-to-face with Javad Zarif one day after Canada and four other countries with nationals aboard the downed airliner set a list of demands they planned to present to Iran.
That included demanding that Iran co-operate with the investigation, punish those responsible, and compensate victims’ families.
The meeting comes just as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plans to provide an update on the tragedy after meeting with his incident response group behind closed doors.
It has been just over a week since one — and possibly a second — Iranian surface-to-air missile took down the Ukraine International Airlines passenger jet minutes after takeoff from Tehran’s international airport.
All 176 people on board were killed, including 57 Canadians.
The Canadian Press has independently confirmed at least 90 victims with ties to Canada, many of them students and professors returning after spending the December break visiting relatives in Iran.
In a rare sermon during Friday prayers, Iran’s supreme leader called the downing of the civilian airliner a bitter accident that saddened Iran and made its enemies happy.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Iran’s international rivals have seized on the crash to question the country and its armed forces.
He also attacked the United States for its killing of a top Iranian general, which was a factor in putting Iranian air defences on high alert, and called President Donald Trump a clown.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2020.
— With files from The Associated Press
The Canadian Press