Baird Wraps Up Tour of Canada with U.A.E. Counterpart

July 9, 2014 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today wrapped up a four-day tour of Canada with His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, his counterpart from the United Arab Emirates. The two ministers visited Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto.

“The scale of my colleague’s third bilateral visit to Canada reflects the relationship between our two countries, which is characterized by ambition and shared interests,” said Baird. “Canada and the U.A.E. continue to work together on a range of important issues for the future prosperity and security of our countries.”

The four-day visit began at the Calgary Stampede, with both ministers taking in the sights and sounds of this 102-year-old tradition. In Calgary and Vancouver, the ministers met with officials of every level of government, as well as with Canadian and U.A.E. business interests. In Vancouver, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah and the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, launched negotiations toward a foreign investment promotion and protection agreement between Canada and the United Arab Emirates.

“Canada and the U.A.E., which is our largest export market in the Arab world, continue to look for ways to strengthen this partnership for the future prosperity of our people,” said Baird.

The two ministers also opened the new U.A.E. consulate general in Toronto—only the second U.A.E. consulate in all of North America. Following this event, the two held bilateral talks at the Munk School of Global Affairs and met with international security experts to discuss the current situation in the Middle East and elsewhere.

“The United Arab Emirates has been a trusted partner in regional security issues, so today’s discussion was timely given the current tensions in the Middle East,” said Baird. “We also had a chance to discuss the current situation in Iran, and we share the strong view that Iran needs to cooperate meaningfully with the international community in providing assurances on its nuclear ambitions.”

As part of this visit, the two ministers also agreed on the Third Review of their Shared Strategic Agenda, which sets out bilateral priorities between the two nations. This year marks the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Canada and the U.A.E.

For photos of the visit, see Baird meets Minister of Foreign Affairs to the UAE.

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