Baird to Discuss Economy and Syria During Visit to Turkey

September 12, 2013 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird will make a bilateral visit on September 13 and 14, 2013, to Istanbul, Turkey, where he will advance Canada’s interests on a number of important files.

During his visit, Baird will meet with Turkey’s President Abdullah Gül as well as Ahmet Davutoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs, for substantive discussions on bilateral and regional issues.

“Turkey is a valued partner for Canada, as we share interests that extend beyond our bilateral ties to partnerships in NATO and the G‑20,” said Baird. “We also share a deep commitment to regional stability.

“I look forward to discussing ways in which we can work to enhance economic, social and security cooperation in the region, in particular the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria, Turkey’s neighbour.”

Canada and Turkey have both called for a strong international response to the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime. Canada has been a world leader in providing humanitarian support for the Syrian people fleeing the violence into neighbouring countries.

“We continue to cooperate closely with Turkey during this crisis, and this will continue to feature prominently in my discussions in Istanbul,” said Baird.

While in Turkey, Baird will also meet with representatives of the Canadian and Turkish business communities. Turkey is a strategic market of opportunity for Canadian firms and these meetings will build on the successful visit to Turkey in August by the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade.

“Creating jobs and prosperity remains a focus of our government,” said Baird. “Along with promoting Canadian values on the world stage, I will continue to promote Canadian interests just as vigorously. Canada and Turkey continue to deepen our economic relationship, and that is great news for both of our peoples.”

In September 2012, Baird hosted his Turkish counterpart for bilateral discussions in Ottawa, where they also unveiled a monument honouring fallen diplomats. This is Baird’s second trip to Turkey since becoming foreign minister.

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