Minister Cannon Condemns Extremist Targeting of Christians in Iraq

(No. 1 - January 1, 2011 - 11:50 a.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement regarding a spate of violence in Iraq against the Christian community:

"The Government of Canada continues to be deeply concerned about the plight of minorities in Iraq.

"Canada strongly condemns these senseless and shameful acts of violence. Iraqi minorities, including the Christian community, are especially vulnerable to violence and discrimination. Al Qaeda in Iraq’s stated policy of targeting Iraqi Christians demonstrates its violent ideology and lack of respect for human dignity and religious tenets.

"The Government of Canada firmly supports the people and the Government of Iraq in their efforts to bring about a secure, stable, unified and democratic country. Canada welcomes the Government of Iraq’s commitment to protecting its minority communities and continues to support freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Iraq."

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Melissa Lantsman
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

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