Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the 57 Canadians killed when Iran shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 would be alive if not for recent escalations in tensions in the region, a point of view that appears not to spare US President Donald Trump.
Trudeau spoke with Global National’s Dawna Friesen on Monday about the Canadian response to the plane crash and the ongoing work happening to support the families, identify the victims, and hold Iran to account in the investigation into how the missile that took down the plane was fired.
“If there were no tensions, if there was no escalation recently in the region, those Canadians would be right now home with their families,” said Trudeau.
It’s a viewpoint that appears to apportion some blame on US President Donald Trump for escalating conflict in the region, by ordering the assassination of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani.
Trudeau has faced repeated questions over the past week on whether he believes U.S. President Donald Trump also bears some responsibility for the incident, given that it came just hours after missile strikes by Iran were launched in response to his targeting and killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani on Jan. 3.
“This is something that happens when you have conflict and war. Innocents bear the brunt of it and it is a reminder why all of us need to work so hard on de-escalation, moving forward to reduce tensions and find a pathway that doesn’t involve further conflict and killing,” Trudeau said in the interview, published by globalnews.ca.
His comments come ahead of a meeting being hosted by Canada on Thursday in London, U.K., in which members of the International Coordination and Response Group are set to lay out their next steps for pushing for credible answers and access to black box data.
Trudeau said the goal of the meeting will be looking at ways to demand justice.
“I think full admission, acknowledgment of responsibility and some form of compensation is going to have to come.”