Canada Welcomes the Program of Action to Prevent Arms Smuggling into Gaza

(No. 68 - March 16, 2009) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, welcomed the announcement of a program of action agreed to at a meeting of experts in London on March 13 to prevent the smuggling of arms, ammunition and related material into the Gaza Strip. Canada is participating in this counter-smuggling initiative with the United States, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and France.

"Canada is proud to be a partner in the Gaza Counter-Arms Smuggling Initiative, which aims to develop an effective framework for international cooperation to stop the flow of weapons to Gaza," Minister Cannon said. "Canada's participation in this international initiative is a clear sign of our commitment to international efforts that aim to bring about a long-term, sustainable and durable ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, consistent with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1860. We look forward to working with our partners on the plan of action to coordinate diplomatic and legal cooperation, and intelligence-sharing to stem the flow of arms, ammunition and related material into the Gaza Strip.

"This initiative is another clear demonstration of Canada and the international community's commitment to peace in the Middle East, including a comprehensive two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," added Minister Cannon.

Canada will host the next meeting of experts for this initiative in May in Ottawa.

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