German UN envoy Christoph Heusgen requested China that before he retires, they release two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, held in custody for Christmas. The Chinese deputy UN ambassador, Geng Shuang, responded by saying that the Council would be a better place without Heusgen.
Michael Kovrig had been a Canadian diplomat assigned as an adviser to the International Crisis Group while Michael Spavor was a businessman. China arrested the two after Canada detained the Chief Financial Officer of Huawei Technologies Meng Wanzhou under a United States warrant.
This is Germany’s second year on the UN Security Council and Ambassador Christoph Heusgen will be retiring from service, having served more than 40 years as a foreign envoy.
Although the Council’s main agenda had been about Iran, Heusgen said that he wishes to end his tenure on the Security Council by appealing to his Chinese counterparts to ask Beijing for the release of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. He also said that Christmas is the right moment for making such a gesture.
Meanwhile, Shuang said that Heusgen was taking advantage of the Security Council so as to launch malicious attacks on other diplomats, thus creating a poisonous working environment. He also said, “I wish to say something out of the bottom of my heart: Good riddance, Ambassador Heusgen”. Shuang said that the Council will be able to function better towards its goal of maintaining world peace without Heusgen’s presence in 2021.
Heusgen also suggested that the Russian deputy UN ambassador, Dmitry Polyanskiy, should read how Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny tricked a Russian secret FSB agent into revealing details of a plot to assassinate him. Although, FSB announced that this news is fake.
Polyanskiy said that Heusgen has developed a habit of using the Council to bring up topics irrelevant to the agenda, and he always delivers some remarks against Russia in every meeting. He hopes that after Heusgen’s symptoms will be much improved in 2021.