Baird and Ashton Conclude Annual Transatlantic Dialogue

April 18, 2012 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement at the conclusion of the transatlantic dialogue meeting with Catherine Ashton, Vice President of the European Commission and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy:

“I was pleased to take part in this meeting with my colleague, Baroness Ashton, whom I hold in the highest regard.

“We took the opportunity to discuss the negotiations toward the Canada-European Union comprehensive economic and trade agreement and the strategic partnership agreement. We agreed to redouble our efforts to complete these agreements for the good of the Canadian and European economies and to support our continued engagement internationally.

“I directly raised the issue of the EU Fuel Quality Directive. While Canada is not opposed to the goal of the directive, I continued to urge Baroness Ashton to relay to her colleagues the need for a non-discriminatory and science-based approach to the directive’s implementing measures.

“Ms. Ashton chaired the P5+1 meetings in Istanbul, Turkey, this past week, and I was pleased to learn her views on the meeting and the situation in Iran.

“Although some progress was made, Canada believes that the Iranian authorities must still demonstrate clearly their readiness to reverse their current course and live up to their international legal obligations.”

The transatlantic dialogue meeting takes place annually and is an ideal opportunity for Canada and the European Union to engage each other on a wide range of issues.

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