Modification - Minister Baird Expands Dialogue with Commonwealth Partners Australia and New Zealand

(No. 212 - Modification - July 24, 2011 - 10 p.m. ET) John Baird, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, met with his Australian and New Zealander counterparts on the margins of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meetings in Bali, Indonesia. The three foreign ministers reaffirmed the long-standing and enduring relations between the three countries and committed to enhanced cooperation across the full range of international challenges.

“As members of the Commonwealth, our three countries’ close ties involve the past, the present and the future,” said Minister Baird. “We are close allies, close partners and close friends, regardless of geographical distance.”

“I raised the human rights situation in Burma and discussed the need for progress on reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka with my counterparts,” Minister Baird added. “We also looked at human smuggling and illegal migration and reaffirmed that we remain committed to combatting these and other abuses of our respective immigration systems.”

Shared prosperity and security concerns were also on the informal agenda, as was the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, to be hosted by Australia in Perth.

Further discussions centred around recent developments in the Middle East and North Africa.

“We all agreed that we would continue to work together to promote democracy and respect for human rights,” said Minister Baird. “The need to speak with one, united voice on these matters is crucial to meeting our shared objectives.”

John Baird, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, meets with Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully on July 23, on the margins of the ASEAN Regional Forum and Post Ministerial Conference in Indonesia.

John Baird, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, meets with Australian Foreign Minister
Kevin Rudd and New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully on July 23, on the margins of the ASEAN Regional Forum and Post Ministerial Conference in Indonesia.

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