Minister Baird Expresses Deep Concerns over Syrian Conflict and Its Spillover Effect in the Region

June 16, 2013 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement:

“I am deeply concerned about the situation in Syria and its effects on the broader region. In recent days and weeks, the Syrian conflict has spilled over into neighbouring countries, with sometimes deadly consequences.

“I will be visiting Jordan later today to meet Nasser Judeh, my counterpart there, to discuss how Canada can best help Jordanians cope with the influx of refugees. Canada will continue to support Syria’s neighbours, who are bearing a heavy burden as the violence in Syria continues to have consequences beyond its borders.

“Thousands of Canadians visit the countries neighbouring Syria every year for summer vacation and to meet up with family in the region. This year, I am extremely concerned for the well-being of many of those who may be considering travelling to these areas, including the most volatile parts of Lebanon. I encourage travellers to be informed of developments in those areas and to think twice about destinations where violence has occurred or is threatened. Canadian citizens should register online with the Registration of Canadians Abroad system.

“Those who decide to travel to these areas should pack their common sense. If the Syrian crisis spreads, our ability to assist may be limited due to the security impediments and an insecure environment.”

Canadian citizens in Lebanon requiring emergency consular assistance should contact the Canadian embassy in Beirut at (961-4) 726700, or call Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada’s Emergency Watch and Response Centre collect at 613-996-8885. They may also send an email to sos@international.gc.ca.

Finally, we encourage Canadians to stay connected to the latest travel advice and advisories at Travel.gc.ca, also available via our Travel Smart Mobile Web App. They can also follow us on Twitter or find us on Facebook.

For more information, visit Country travel advice and advisories-Lebanon.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874
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