Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have landed in Canada, the Star has confirmed.
The couple were greeted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the runway at Calgary International Airport early Saturday morning.
Kovrig and Spavor’s arrival in Canada follows the release of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on Friday, hours after US prosecutors withdrew an extradition order and allowed Canada to release her.
A Canadian official said the former Chinese detainees landed in Calgary because that’s where Spavor’s family is. Kovrig will continue in Toronto shortly, which is where his family is.
Kovrig and Spavor flew back with Dominic Barton, Canada’s ambassador to China, according to reports. Spavor’s family met him at the airport. They landed at 5:40 a.m. Calgary time (7:40 a.m. ET).
Trudeau flew to Calgary on Friday night after his press conference announcing his release.
Foreign Minister Marc Garneau accompanied Trudeau to greet Spavor, a businessman, and Kovrig, who was a Canadian diplomat on leave and working with the International Crisis Group when he was arrested by Chinese authorities.
Kovrig and Spavor flew to Calgary on a Canadian government plane.
Kovrig’s employer, International Crisis Group, issued a statement the Friday following the launch of Spavor and Kovrig.
“Crisis Group is enormously grateful to the many people who have worked tirelessly in support of Michael,” the statement read. “We would like to extend our deep appreciation and admiration for Vina Nadjibullah, Michael’s wife, and the other members of Michael’s family for their courageous and tireless pursuit of their freedom.”
“For more than two and a half years in jail, Michael has faced tragedy with integrity and humanity. Despite suffering injustices and hardships, he has remained strong and positive. He maintained throughout his confinement his grace and humor, as well as a vigorous exercise routine and a voracious appetite for reading and discovery.
More to come.