Voluntary Evacuation Initiative from Syria Ends Saturday: Baird and Ablonczy

January 12, 2012 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and the Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), today issued the following statement:

“We would like to remind Canadian citizens in Syria that our government's voluntary evacuation initiative ends this Saturday, January 14, 2012.

“Canadians and their spouses and dependent children have until then to benefit from the expedited services put in place to help them leave the country as soon as possible. Our embassy in Damascus will be open this Friday and Saturday for those wishing to access its services.

“This voluntary evacuation has, so far, allowed us to assist hundreds of Canadians and their dependants to obtain the necessary travel documents to leave Syria.

“We continue to urge all Canadians still in Syria to take advantage of these expedited services now. As the security situation deteriorates, embassy services may be reduced or suspended without warning.”

Canadian citizens in Syria requiring assistance should contact the Canadian embassy in Damascus at 963 (11) 611-6692, 611-6851 or 611-6870, or call Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada’s Emergency Operations Centre collect at 613-944-2471. An email may also be sent to sos@international.gc.ca.

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874
Follow us on Twitter: @DFAIT_MAECI