Baird Announces Intention to Open Canadian Embassy in Burma

July 13, 2012 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today announced Canada’s plans to open an embassy in Burma. The announcement was made during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum and Post Ministerial Conference, where Baird met with his ASEAN counterparts, including Burmese Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin.

“Canada continues to be encouraged by the changes taking place in Burma. As Canada recently moved to broaden our relationship, I am pleased to announce that Canada is planning to open an embassy in Burma,” said Baird. “To that end, we look forward to working closely with the Burmese government in the coming weeks and months. It is our hope that this announcement will build on other positive developments in our relations with Burma.”

On April 24, 2012, Canada announced significant changes to its economic sanctions against Burma, suspending most of the prohibitions on trade and investment. Burma currently has an embassy in Canada.

“Although the Burmese government has taken positive steps to improve human rights and democracy over the last year, we continue to urge more progress on reforms,” said Baird. “Canada stands ready to assist the Burmese government in any capacity to build on the democratic fundamentals, and the freedom and rights of their people.”

On March 8, 2012, Minister Baird made a landmark visit to Burma, marking the first official visit to that country by a Canadian foreign minister. During his visit, he delivered a certificate recognizing Aung San Suu Kyi’s honourary Canadian citizenship, which was conferred upon her by the Parliament of Canada in 2007.

Baird is currently on his fourth trip to Asia in the last year.

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

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