Canada slams UK decision to ‘off-load’ Islamist fighter

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada said on Sunday that Britains decision to strip Jack Letts – dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the media – of his British citizenship was an attempt to shift responsibility for what to do with him onto Canada, where he also has citizenship.

A statement from Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodales office confirmed a British media report from Saturday, which said that Letts UK passport had been torn up.

Letts travelled from Britain to Syria to fight with Islamic State in 2014, according to media reports, and he has been held in a Kurdish prison for two years. In an ITV interview from February, Letts said he wanted to return to Britain because he considered it his home.

“Terrorism knows no borders, so countries need to work together to keep each other safe,” the Canadian statement said. “Canada is disappointed that the United Kingdom has taken this unilateral action to off-load their responsibilities.”

Britains Foreign Office could not immediately be reached for comment.

Canada has been embroiled in nagging diplomatic spats over the past year, including with Saudi Arabia and China, but this latest dispute is between two traditional allies and comes just two months ahead of Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeaus bid for re-election.

Trudeau is due to meet the new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at a Group of Seven meeting in France that starts on Aug. 24.

Britains Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab met Canadas Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland in Toronto earlier this month. The two ministers discussed Letts during the visit, the Canadian statement said.

“While we are disappointed in their decision, we do not conduct tit-for-tat diplomacy. Canada and the UK continue to work closely together on a number of issues, including theRead More

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