Canada just lost a key ally in the Trump administration in Rex Tillerson

Canada just lost a key ally in the Trump administration in Rex Tillerson
From CBC - March 13, 2018

Mike Pompeois U.S. President Donald Trump's nominee to be the new Secretary of Stateand Canada is not likely to be at the top of Pompeo's priority list.

The planned meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-unand ongoing tensions with Russia over election interference are clearly going to be far more pressing issues forRex Tillerson's replacement at the State Department.

Still, this is also a critical time in Canada-U.S. relations, and it appears Canadahas just lost a key ally in the Trump administration with the president's move to fire Tillerson.

Reacting to the change at State, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau struck an optimistic note today.

"We know that we have had great working relationship with many folks, including Rex Tillerson, but I can also say that we have had a great working relationship with his successor, secretary designate Pompeo," he said.

"We are going to continue to build a strong productive relationship moving forward on highlighting just the closeness, the interconnected-ness, the unique relationship in all the world that is the friendship between Canada and the United States."

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland had developed a strong working relationship with Tillerson.

Most recently, the pair co-hosted the Vancouver Summit, a gathering of international partners organized to seek a diplomatic solution to the crisis over North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

While the meeting did not have many tangible results, it showcasedthe bond between Freeland and Tillerson.

The idea for the summit first came together around last September, not long after President Trump threatened to unleash "fire and fury"on North Koreain response to its ongoing weapons testing.

Alarmed by the increasingly bellicoserhetoric on both sides, Freeland and Tillersonstarted discussing plans for an international gathering to demonstrate support for diplomacy.

Both are considered to be among of the strongest supporters of diplomacy currently on the scene in Western governments, even thoughTillerson's position frequently clashed with the White House and was undermined by a rocky personal relationship with Trump.

Weeks before the summit's announcement, Trump humiliated Tillersonby publicly rejecting his calls for the resumption of diplomatic talks between Washington and Pyongyang, without preconditions.

But Freeland was able to alleviate some of that sting by helping to organize the gathering in Vancouver, which saw more than a dozen international partners stand firmly in supportof a diplomatic approach to North Korea.

Evolving relationship


Continue reading at CBC »