Statement by Minister Cannon on Situation in Bahrain

(No. 108 - March 16, 2011 - 8:25 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement regarding recent developments in Bahrain:

"Canada is concerned by the recent evolution of the situation in Bahrain and urges all parties to renounce any recourse to violence. We also call on Bahrain and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council to exercise the utmost restraint and maintain an environment favourable to democratic reform.

"Canada urges the Government of Bahrain to protect the safety of demonstrators and return to fully respecting their freedom of assembly. We strongly encourage Bahraini authorities to continue their efforts toward building a sincere dialogue that addresses the concerns of the country’s citizens.

"Canadians are advised to avoid all travel to Bahrain. Canadians in Bahrain should leave now by commercial means if it is safe to do so. A state of emergency was declared yesterday. The situation is very likely to deteriorate further in the near future and the ability of Canadian officials to provide consular assistance may be limited.

"We strongly urge all Canadian citizens currently in Bahrain to register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service in order to receive the Government of Canada’s latest advice."

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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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