Addressing the Syrian Crisis

December 12, 2012 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation, today issued the following statement:

“Canada is doing more to deal with the ongoing crisis in Syria and help prepare the country for ‘day one’ of the post-Assad era.

“Canada is providing $5 million in material support to Jordan to assist in handling the large influx of Syrian refugees. This is in addition to the $6.5 million Canada committed this summer for assistance to Jordan. [Download Video Quote 1]

“Canada, through CIDA, is committing an additional $10 million in humanitarian assistance to address the needs of those affected by the crisis in Syria and those fleeing to neighbouring countries. This brings our total humanitarian assistance for Syria to $22 million. [Download Video Quote 2] We call on all parties to allow free access to those providing humanitarian assistance to vulnerable areas.

“We remain deeply concerned about the potential loss of control over chemical weapons stockpiles. We will work with the United States to provide the Jordanian Armed Forces with $1.5 million worth of personal protective equipment to guard them against a potential chemical weapons or biological incident arising from Syria. [Download Video Quote 3]

“Today I urged the new opposition coalition to continue to reach out to all sectors of the Syrian opposition, especially those members of the opposition within Syria itself, and to all of Syria’s diverse communities. All Syrians will have a role to play in any successful post-Assad political transition.

“Canada continues to call for an immediate end to the violence in Syria and for Assad to step down so that a Syrian-led political transition can begin.” [Download Video Quote 4]

Baird made these announcements during his address to today’s Friends of the Syrian People conference in Marrakesh, Morocco.

- 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

Media Centre