Statement by Minister Cannon on Inauguration of Afghanistan's National Assembly

(No. 34 - January 26, 2011 - 3:15 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement concerning the inauguration of Afghanistan's National Assembly:

"Today's inauguration of the National Assembly marks an important milestone in the advancement of democracy in Afghanistan. A functioning legislature paves the way for vital work to begin toward serving the needs of the Afghan people.

"We call on the National Assembly to exercise its mandate to provide for the needs of the Afghan people, support the development of democratic institutions and hold the executive branch to account.

"Much work lies ahead for the Government of Afghanistan. We expect the Afghan government to advance the interests of its people by establishing strong, democratic and accountable national institutions with a commitment to delivering basic services, improving security and strengthening efforts to combat corruption.

"Canada, together with its allies, will continue to support the Afghan government's efforts to build robust democratic institutions based on the rule of law."

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Lynn Meahan
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
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