(No. 39 - January 30, 2011 - 5:45 p.m. ET) The following is an edited transcript of a statement made to media by the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, on the situation in Egypt. The statement was made at the National Press Theatre at 5:45 p.m. on Sunday, January 30, 2011:
"As you know, the situation in Egypt is highly unpredictable, and some demonstrations have turned violent. To date, we have had no reports of Canadians having been injured or killed. However, at this time, the government is recommending that Canadians leave Egypt.
"The government continues to provide consular assistance to Canadians who wish to leave. The government has evacuation plans in place for Canadian citizens in Egypt who wish to depart.
"Our government is making arrangements to provide transportation to locations in Europe. Canadian citizens who travel on arranged transport will be expected to make their own onward travel plans from these locations.
"Flights to evacuation points will begin departing as early as tomorrow. Those seeking Canadian chartered transportation should contact the Canadian embassy in Cairo or the emergency operations centre in Ottawa.
"Friends and relatives in Canada seeking information on Canadian citizens believed to be in Egypt should contact DFAIT's Operations Centre by calling 1-800-606-5499, or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Canadian citizens in Egypt requiring emergency consular assistance should contact the Canadian Embassy in Cairo at 20  2791-8700 or, they should call the DFAIT Emergency Centre at 613-996-8885.
"In closing, I will remind everybody that we continue to call on the Egyptian government to state its commitment to strengthening democracy, consultation, dialogue and cooperation. We urge the Egyptian government to accelerate the pace of democratic and economic reforms, and to listen to the aspirations of the Egyptian people.
"We deeply regret the continued loss of life during this crisis. We call on all parties to refrain from using violence, and the Egyptian authorities to respond to the protests peacefully.
"The Government of Canada has long engaged Egypt and other governments in the region regarding the need to bring about reform. We continue to urge the pursuit of reforms addressing the issues that have inhibited regional, political, economic and social development.
- 30 -
For further information, media representatives may contact:
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Follow us on Twitter.