Minister Cannon Concludes Productive Visit to Washington, D.C.

(No. 46 - February 24, 2009) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today concluded a productive visit to Washington, D.C., where he met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the first time. The Minister and Secretary met to follow up on discussions between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama in Ottawa last week.

"I am pleased to have been able to meet with Secretary Clinton so soon after our leaders met in Ottawa,"; said Minister Cannon. "It was important that the Secretary and I meet early in her mandate to begin work on advancing our shared bilateral and global priorities.";

During their meeting, Minister Cannon and Secretary Clinton discussed a number of key issues, including Afghanistan. Minister Cannon welcomed the deployment of additional U.S. support in the south, and expressed his expectation that Canada and the U.S. will work closely in Kandahar. The Minister reinforced the need for additional civilians in the field as key to Afghanistan achieving its goals of good governance and self-reliance. Minister Cannon also offered to share the lessons Canada has learned in Kandahar in areas such as training the Afghan National Police, border management and overall reconstruction and development work.

"I look forward to working with Secretary of State Clinton as we move forward on key international security and foreign policy issues, and as we plan for the upcoming NATO Summit and the Summit of the Americas,"; added the Minister. "Canada and the U.S. will continue working together to improve North American competitiveness, to foster economic recovery and to strengthen our collaboration on the global stage.";

While in Washington, Minister Cannon also met with José Miguel Insulza, Secretary General of the Organization of American States, and with members of Congress, including Representative Louise Slaughter and Howard L. Berman, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

For more information on the meeting between Prime Minister Harper and President Obama, please see President Obama and Prime Minister Harper vow joint effort on North American economic recovery.

For the news release announcing Minister Cannon's visit, please see Minister Cannon to Meet with U.S. Secretary of State in Washington, D.C.

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Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada