April 14, 2012 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird will depart for Europe this weekend on an official visit to the United Kingdom, Germany and Belgium.
In London, Baird will meet with several of his Commonwealth partners for a session of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, which Canada was selected to rejoin in late 2011. The group will discuss a range of issues, from Commonwealth renewal to democratic development and human rights throughout the Commonwealth, including the rights of women, gays and lesbians.
At the invitation of his German counterpart, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, Baird will then travel to Berlin. He will undertake substantive discussions with Minister Westerwelle on a variety of issues, including the situation in the eurozone, Afghanistan and the Middle East, as well as human rights and nuclear non-proliferation in Iran. The visit will provide the opportunity to strengthen relations with Europe’s largest economy and a strong partner and ally for Canada in multilateral forums.
Finally, Baird will join his Cabinet colleague the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, at the NATO Foreign Affairs and Defence Ministerial meetings in Brussels, where they will discuss a range of security-related topics.
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