(No. 94 – March 8, 2010 – 5:30 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement congratulating the people of Iraq on their national parliamentary elections, the second such vote since the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime:
“Canada welcomes these elections and applauds the Iraqi people for their courage and commitment to a peaceful and democratic state by exercising their fundamental democratic right to vote.
“Canada strongly condemns the use of violence and intimidation by extremist elements opposed to Iraqi democracy. The healthy voter turnout is a testament to the triumph of the collective strength of Iraq’s citizens over violence and intimidation.
“Canada commends the high participation of Iraqi women in the elections, as both candidates and voters. Throughout the world, it is clear that women play a fundamental role in the development of a prosperous and peaceful society.
“Canada hopes that this election will facilitate the formation of an inclusive and representative government in Iraq. During this period of political transition, Canada encourages all candidates to serve as an inspiration to Iraqis to further the goal of a peaceful and united Iraq.
“On behalf of all Canadians, I extend our deepest sympathies to the loved ones of the victims of the attacks that have taken place in recent days and weeks.
“At this important juncture, Canada stands firmly with Iraq’s people and government as they work together to advance democracy and the rule of law.
“In support of Iraq’s democracy, Canada was proud to host out-of-country voting to enable the members of Canada’s Iraqi community to exercise their right to vote in this election, and to deploy a team of official observers to Iraq to monitor the vote on election day.”
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