Minister of Foreign Affairs to Attend International Conference on Afghanistan

(No. 79 - March 27, 2009)The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that he will attend the International Conference on Afghanistan in The Hague, Netherlands on March 31, 2009.

"This conference gives members of the international community the opportunity to reflect on progress made, to prepare for important challenges ahead, and to reaffirm our commitment to a stable and peaceful Afghanistan," said Minister Cannon. "We look forward to sharing some of the lessons learned from the last year in particular, during which we established priorities, benchmarked progress, doubled the number of deployed civilians, provided such helpful equipment as helicopters, and increased financial contributions to foster security, governance and development."

"We will also engage with our allies and Afghanistan's neighbouring countries on how to work together to bring about regional cooperation, which everyone agrees is key to a long-term solution to the conflict in Afghanistan," Minister Cannon added. "As one of our six priorities, Canada is helping to enhance border security by facilitating Afghanistan-Pakistan cooperation, since a secure and well-managed border will help promote much-needed economic opportunities for border-region residents."

The conference, hosted jointly by the United Nations, the Government of Afghanistan, and the Government of the Netherlands, builds on the achievements of previous conferences held in Bonn, London, and last year in Paris, and aims to renew the commitment of all conference participants to support the mission.

In attendance will be representatives of International Security Assistance Force partner countries, major financial contributors to Afghanistan, key regional players and transit countries, and international organizations.

For more information on the conference, visit International Conference on Afghanistan: a Comprehensive Strategy in a Regional Context, The Hague, 31 March 2009.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:
Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874