(No. 244 - August 24, 2011 - 5 p.m. ET) Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued a statement welcoming an independent, international investigation into human rights violations in Syria:
"Canada welcomes this decision by the United Nations Human Rights Council.
"Canada co-sponsored the request to convene a special session of the Council. Canada continues to take a leadership role in pressuring the Assad regime to stop the assault on its own people.
"This is an important step to end impunity for human rights violations by Syria's military and intelligence forces.
"Their campaign of terror must stop, and Canada again calls on President Assad to step down immediately.
"Canada has taken decisive action by imposing sanctions that directly target members of the current Syrian regime and those who provide it with support.
"The Syrian people have a right to decide for themselves the next steps for Syria's future. Canada stands with them in their efforts to secure freedom and democracy. We look forward to a new Syria that respects the rights of all of its people and lives in peace with its neighbours."
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