Minister of State Ablonczy to Visit Mexico and Dominican Republic

(No. 260 - September 12, 2011 - 9:30 a.m. ET) The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), will visit Mexico and the Dominican Republic from September 12 to 16, 2011.

"Mexico and the Dominican Republic are increasingly popular travel destinations for Canadians," said Minister of State Ablonczy. "Open and efficient communications with government officials in these countries will improve our ability to respond effectively when Canadians require consular services while abroad."

While in Mexico, Minister of State Ablonczy will meet with Foreign Affairs Secretary Patricia Espinosa and Attorney General Marisela Morales. She will also meet with Mexican authorities involved in the bilateral Consular Rapid Response Mechanism and with representatives of the Canadian business and resident communities in Mexico.

In August 2007, the governments of Canada and Mexico established the Canada-Mexico Consular Rapid Response Mechanism to ensure timely high-level engagement in complex consular cases. The goal of this mechanism is to strengthen communication and coordination between diplomatic/consular officials and government authorities at the federal as well as at the provincial/state levels.

"The Consular Rapid Response Mechanism has allowed us to enhance our consular cooperation with Mexico by meeting regularly to discuss consular trends and concerns," said Minister of State Ablonczy.

The Minister of State will also travel to the Dominican Republic. In Santo Domingo, she will meet with President Leonel Fernández, Foreign Affairs Minister Carlos Morales Troncoso, Attorney General Radhamés Jiménez Peña, Minister of Health Bautista Rojas Gómez, and Minister of Tourism Francisco Javier García. In Punta Cana, the Minister of State will meet with tour operators and Canadian residents in the Dominican Republic.

"Canada's relations with the Dominican Republic are built on strong people-to-people ties in areas such as trade, investment, security cooperation, academic exchanges and tourism," said Minister of State Ablonczy. "We look forward to continuing and deepening our close relationship with the Dominican Republic."

Each year, Mexico attracts approximately 1.6 million Canadian visitors and the Dominican Republic well over 700,000. The two countries are among the top three sun travel destinations for Canadians. Canada has an extensive consular presence in both countries to meet the rising demand for services.

For more information, please visit Embassy of Canada to Mexico, Embassy of Canada to Dominican Republic and Travel.gc.ca.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

John Babcock
Senior Communications Adviser
Office of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)
613-944-2300

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