Statement on Iraq's Provincial Elections

(No. 28 - February 1, 2009)The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement on behalf of the Government of Canada, congratulating the people of Iraq on their recent provincial elections:

"Canada congratulates the people of Iraq on the successful conduct of the provincial elections held in 14 governorates on Saturday, January 31. These elections are a crucial step in Iraq's evolving political process. They not only set the tone for this year's parliamentary elections, but also reshape local government by ensuring it represents the full spectrum of Iraqi society.

"Furthermore, the significant turnout at the polls testifies to the Iraqi people's commitment to the democratic process and to advancing the public will through non-violent means. Canada hopes that these elections will serve as a gateway to further peace, reconciliation and stability in the country.

"The Government of Canada is committed to promoting the fundamental Canadian values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Since 2003, Canada has contributed nearly $300 million in aid to help stabilize Iraq. Canada looks forward to continuing to work with Iraq to support peace and the promotion of democracy."

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada