Minister Baird Concludes Successful Visit to Tripoli

Canadian assistance will help secure weapons, improve women’s rights, strengthen democracy and increase trade

(No. 293 - October 11, 2011 - 8:15 a.m. ET) Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today visited Tripoli to assess the situation there and to announce the latest phase of Canada’s support for Libya’s transition to the post-Qadhafi era.

“Our government remains committed to protecting the Libyan people and supporting their efforts to build a brighter future for themselves,” said Baird. “Obviously, there are a number of pressing needs and our support will help ensure those needs are met.”

In Tripoli, the Minister met with Mustafa Abdul Jalil, Chair of the National Transitional Council, to discuss the progress of Libya’s transition. He announced that Canada would be contributing $10 million to help secure weapons of mass destruction and remove and dispose of explosive remnants of war.

“The security situation in Libya is still quite volatile and the risk of these items falling into the wrong hands or injuring civilians is very real. Canada sees this disarmament as a top priority in making Libya and the entire region safer,” said Baird.

Baird also hosted a round table with Libyan women’s rights advocates to discuss the important role that women must play in the new Libya and its democratic institutions.

“The Libyan people have chosen for themselves a future in which there is respect for freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, and Canada will continue to support that vision,” said Baird. “We continue to encourage the new government of Libya to ensure the role of women in Libya’s transition.”

Representatives from non-governmental organizations and Canadian businesses in the infrastructure, technology and natural resources sectors joined the Minister on this trip.

Visit Canada’s Response to the Situation in Libya for a full picture of Canada’s commitment.

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