Canada Condemns Violence in Syria and Supports Nuclear Agency’s Findings

(No. 157 - June 9, 2011 - 5:10 p.m. ET) John Baird, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, today issued the following statement:

"Canada is outraged by the continuing crackdown by the current Syrian regime against Syrian citizens. The killing and torture of Syrians, including young children, is deplorable and abhorrent. All allegations of serious human rights violations should be investigated and those responsible should be held accountable.

"Canada is strongly supportive of efforts within the United Nations Security Council to address the situation in Syria.

"Also today, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors found Syria to be in non-compliance with its Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty safeguards agreement and will refer the matter to the UN Security Council. Canada co-sponsored the IAEA resolution and strongly supports the IAEA’s decision.

"On June 3, foreign affairs officials, at my request, called in the Syrian chargé d’affaires to again raise Canada’s concerns, and called on Syrian officials to end the violent civilian oppression and to implement genuine democratic reforms. Given today’s finding by the IAEA, I am asking that the chargé be called in again.

"Canada strongly supports the people of Syria in their peaceful efforts to push for democratic development and human rights, and finds the Syrian regime’s attempts to divert attention away from its serious shortcomings to be absolutely unacceptable.

"We continue to advise against travel to Syria, and sanctions against the regime remain in effect."

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874
Follow us on Twitter.