Minister Baird Concludes Fact-finding Mission to Libya

Next phase of Canada’s enhanced engagement strategy under way

(No. 183 - June 27, 2011 - 8:20 p.m. ET) John Baird, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, today issued the following statement after visiting Benghazi, Libya, where he met with leaders of Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC):

"I am pleased to report that we had productive discussions with the most senior members of the National Transitional Council, and I emerge even more convinced that the NTC is indeed the legitimate representative of the people of Libya.

"No one expects the next steps of Libya’s transition to be easy. Our discussions centred on ways Canada’s engagement might address some of the challenges that exist.

"I delivered a letter from Prime Minister Stephen Harper to Mustafa Abdul Jalil, Chairman of the NTC, inviting him to Canada to further our diplomatic ties with Libya.

"To respond to pressing medical needs in Benghazi, we provided hundreds of state-of-the-art trauma kits as a gift from Canada to the Libyan people. The kits address an immediate need that the NTC had identified previously and are much needed as the NTC continues its struggle on behalf of the Libyan people.

"I would encourage Canadians to consider donating to registered charitable organizations working in Libya if they wish to help.

"Canada is proud to pursue a multi-pronged approach to its support of the Libyan people and their quest to secure a better, brighter future for themselves."

For more information on Canada’s involvement in Libya, please visit Canada’s response to the situation in Libya.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Chris Day
Director of Communications
Office of Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874
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