(No. 105 - March 15, 2011 - 6:45 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, issued the following statement at the press conference concluding the G-8 foreign ministers’ meeting in Paris:
"Today, I participated in the G-8 foreign ministers’ meeting, which dealt particularly with the situation in Libya.
"On behalf of Canada, I have always maintained that all options remain on the table to deal with the violent repression being exercised by Muammar Qadhafi. As I have said before, there is no place in our world and in our time for megalomaniacal and bloodthirsty dictators. The dictator we are seeing at work is the man who ordered the bombing of the Pan Am flight over Scotland.
"This is the Lockerbie Qadhafi.
"Today, ministers stressed the importance of regional participation in any efforts with respect to Libya, and agreed to follow up urgently with the League of Arab States; ministers also agreed that the United Nations Security Council should examine what steps it can take, including economic measures, to force Qadhafi to leave.
"In my intervention today, I also raised some of the difficulties encountered in the move to democratic transition in Tunisia and Egypt. I impressed upon my colleagues the importance of support for economic reforms to respond to the clearly expressed wishes of the people.
"Democracy, the rule of law and the protection of religious minorities, including Coptic Christians in Egypt, should prevail. In a few hours, I will be flying to Cairo to meet with representatives of the government and other groups to discuss Egypt’s democratic transition.
"Last night and today, Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto described the critical situation in Japan. As you know, Canada has indicated to the International Atomic Energy Agency and to the Government of Japan that we stand ready to provide our technical expertise should they request it. Once again, our sympathies go out to the victims of this tragedy.
To download an MP3 audio clip of the Minister’s remarks, please visit http://webcast.international.gc.ca/cpc/MINA/Paris-20110315-en.mp3.
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