Minister of State Kent Congratulates People of Guatemala on Occasion of Their Independence Day

(No. 255 - September 15, 2009 - 2:20 p.m. EDT) The Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas), today issued the following statement congratulating the people of Guatemala as they celebrate their country’s Independence Day:

“Canada extends congratulations to the people of Guatemala as they celebrate the 188th anniversary of their country’s independence. In January, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to Guatemala. That trip lent renewed impetus to Canada’s long-standing relations with this important Central American partner.

“Building a more secure hemisphere, strengthening the rule of law and improving access to justice are foreign-policy priorities for Canada, and Guatemala is a key partner in the pursuit of those priorities. Canada is a vocal supporter of the UN-mandated International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), which, among other things, investigates and promotes the prosecution of criminal organizations. I welcomedCICIGCommissioner Carlos Castresana to Canada earlier this year to discuss ways that the international community can continue to support and strengthen this innovative initiative that is combatting corruption and strengthening the justice system in Guatemala.

“The relationship between our two countries continues to evolve and mature as we deepen cooperation in such areas as investment, migration and the fight against corruption and impunity. Canada also cooperates with the Government of Guatemala to improve the lives of Guatemalans by supporting rural economic development projects.”

For more information, please visit Canada-Guatemala Relations and Guatemala.

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Eleanor Johnston
Senior Special Assistant (Communications)
Office of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada