June 18, 2012 - Ottawa - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird meets with Catherine al-Talli, a recently exiled Syrian opposition activist.
“I am pleased to welcome Catherine al-Talli, a leading member of the Syrian opposition who has courageously worked against the Assad regime’s tyranny for many years,” said Baird. “Our discussions focused on how Canada can continue to support the Syrian people in their struggle for their democratic rights, as well as on the importance of Syrian opposition groups working together to present a viable alternative to the Assad regime.
“Canada has repeatedly called for Assad to step down and has supported the six-point peace plan put forward by United Nations-Arab League Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan to end the violence.
“Canada has offered the United Nations its support to help end the ongoing violence. Assad is refusing to respect the ceasefire. Continued divisions within the international community are hampering efforts to address the crisis, as strong UN Security Council sanctions would increase the pressure on the Assad regime and ban the flow of arms to Syria,” he said.
Baird expressed his support for peaceful efforts by the Syrian people to achieve freedom and democracy as well as his admiration for the courage of al-Talli and others who have risked their personal safety in pursuit of a brighter future for all Syrians.