(No. 196 – July 9, 2011 – 7:35 a.m.) John Baird, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, today issued the following statement regarding the independence of South Sudan:
"The Government of Canada welcomes South Sudan into the community of nations as an independent state. After decades of conflict and underdevelopment, this historic occasion represents an important opportunity for the people of South Sudan to build a brighter, better future for themselves. We encourage the leaders of South Sudan to do all they can to deliver on this promise.
"I will write to my South Sudanese counterpart, as soon as he or she is named, for the purpose of establishing diplomatic relations with the Republic of South Sudan.
"Canada hopes that Sudan and South Sudan will use dialogue to resolve any outstanding issues between them and work toward becoming two viable states that are at peace internally and with each other.
"Canada will continue to focus on stability in the Sudans. Since 2006, the Government of Canada has contributed more than $885 million toward humanitarian assistance, development and peacebuilding in the region."
Deepak Obhrai, Parliamentary Secretary to Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, represented Canada and Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the independence ceremony in Juba, South Sudan.
- 30 -
For further information, media representatives may contact:
Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Follow us on Twitter.