(No. 162 – June 14, 2011 – 7:30 p.m. ET) John Baird, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, today issued the following joint statement on the extension of Canada’s engagement in Libya:
"After debate today in the House of Commons, members of Parliament have voted to extend, by three and a half months, Canada’s contribution to the NATO mission to protect civilians in Libya, enforce a no-fly zone and ensure we maintain an arms embargo against the Qadhafi regime.
"Canada’s military mission has not changed. Our armed forces are playing a leading role preventing attacks and the threat of attacks against civilians. This intervention is in response to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, which calls for the use of all necessary means to protect civilians in Libya.
"In addition, because Canada recognizes the National Transitional Council (NTC) of Libya as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people, Canadian officials will engage with members of the NTC as appropriate to identify and address Libya’s most pressing current and future needs.
"Through the Canadian International Development Agency, Canada is helping the innocent victims of the Libyan crisis. We are contributing an additional $2 million in humanitarian assistance to respond to the needs of conflict-affected populations, including survivors of sexual violence.
"Canada will continue to support the people of Libya as they struggle for the respect of human rights and the development of democratic institutions in their country."
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