Interview: Former Canadian minister says Canada "taking sides" with U.S. by hosting summit on Korean Peninsula

Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-16 13:25:36|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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OTTAWA, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- By hosting a foreign ministers' meeting on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Canada risks losing its neutrality as an "honest broker" in any future peace talks, said a former Canadian foreign minister on the eve of the summit.

"We are very much seen as being on the side of the Americans and Western allies, but this truly declares us as taking sides and this will confirm it in the eyes of the North Koreans," Peter MacKay, who also served as Canada's defense minister in the former Conservative government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, told Xinhua in an interview.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are co-hosting the "Meeting on Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula" in the west coast city of Vancouver on Tuesday, which will bring together about 20 participants, including South Korea and Japan.

The former minister hoped there would be a breakthrough resulting from the ministers' deliberations in reaching some diplomatic solution. "But I don't think the conditions lend themselves to that, particularly with some of the major players absent," said MacKay.

MacKay said that he would not have offered to hold the meeting in Canada.

"I have some trepidation about Canada inserting itself and raising expectations that we are now going to be the peace-broker here," said MacKay. "I don't see that as realistic and not likely to result."