Promoting Prosperity and Security in the Middle East and Cyprus

March 28, 2013 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today announced that he will travel to Jordan, the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), Qatar, Bahrain, Cyprus, Israel and the West Bank from March 29 to April 10, 2013, to promote and protect Canada’s interests and values.

“As part of our principled foreign policy, we recognize that prosperity and security are intrinsically linked,” said Baird. “This link will be front and centre in discussions with our friends and allies who deal every day with the shadow of uncertainty cast by the Syrian crisis and Iranian belligerence.”

Baird’s trip will include a number of examples of Canada expanding its diplomatic outreach and presence. It will begin in Jordan where, among other things, he will open Canada’s new embassy building in Amman.

In the U.A.E., Baird will continue to strengthen relations with that important Persian Gulf partner, where more than 40,000 Canadians live and work.

In visits to Qatar and Bahrain, the link between peace and prosperity will be explored in detail—to the benefit of those in the region and beyond.

In Ramallah, Baird will meet with the leading figures in the Palestinian Authority; in Israel, he will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and representatives from several political parties. In both places, he will urge a swift return to negotiations without precondition toward lasting peace, increased prosperity and greater security.

In Cyprus, Baird will mark the deep and enduring ties between the two countries. He will also take the opportunity to meet with Canadian business leaders as Cyprus moves forward with its economic recovery.

In each of these places, Baird will continue to press to expand opportunities for jobs, growth and economic prosperity—one of the government’s four priorities as recently expressed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

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