(No. 304 – September 18, 2010 – 2:15 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, has concluded his trip to Norway, Russia and Finland.
“As northern countries, Canada, Norway, Russia and Finland have a great deal in common, and Canada has long enjoyed a multi-faceted and productive relationship with all three,” said Minister Cannon. “This was confirmed and reinforced yet again during my visit this week.”
The Minister discussed a range of Arctic issues with his counterparts in the three countries, highlighting the Statement on Canada’s Arctic Foreign Policy, which was released on August 20, 2010.
The Statement outlines the international dimension of the four policy pillars set out in Canada’s Northern Strategy: exercising sovereignty, promoting economic and social development, protecting the environment and improving governance. It clearly identifies sovereignty as Canada’s number-one Arctic foreign policy priority.
In Norway, the Minister met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre and discussed shipping in the Arctic with the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association. He also delivered an address on Canada’s Arctic foreign policy to a select audience at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs.
In Russia, Minister Cannon met with Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov and with Presidential Representative for International Cooperation in the Arctic and Antarctic Artur Chilingarov. Minister Cannon emphasized Canada’s vision for the Arctic as a stable, rules-based region with clearly defined boundaries and vibrant economic growth and trade. He also discussed a number of G-8 issues with Minister Lavrov.
In Finland, Minister Cannon had comprehensive discussions with Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Stubb on a range of Arctic issues. Both ministers emphasized the importance of the Arctic Council as the pre-eminent forum for addressing Arctic issues. They also discussed other key regional issues, as well as Afghanistan. Minister Cannon discussed the outcomes of the G-8 and G-20 summits in his meeting with Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi.
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