Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor are back home after being detained for nearly three years in China.
A Canadian Armed Forces plane carrying the two men landed at Calgary airport on Saturday morning. They were greeted by the Prime Minister Justin trudeau and Foreign Minister Marc Garneau, according to a spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s office.
According to images released by CTV, Mr. Trudeau hugged some passengers on a plane on the tarmac at the airport.
“Welcome back home, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. You have shown incredible strength, resilience and perseverance. Know that Canadians across the country will stay there for you as they always have been, ”Trudeau wrote on Twitter.
The plane carrying the two Michael’s took off from China on Friday, shortly after Canada dropped extradition proceedings against Chinese firm Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou.
Ms Meng struck a deal with the United States, which was seeking her extradition to bring her to justice for fraud.
The detentions in China of Canadian citizens Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have been widely viewed as retaliation for Ms. Meng’s arrest by Canada.
China has publicly argued that there is no connection between the Meng case and MM’s imprisonment. Kovrig and Spavor, both accused of espionage, hinted that if she was allowed to be released, it could be in favor of the two Canadian men.