Address by Minister Cannon in Cairo

No. 2011/15 - Cairo, Egypt - March 16, 2011

Check Against Delivery

In the transition to democracy in Egypt, it is not enough to hope. We must help.

It is not enough to applaud. We must act.

That is our commitment.

Today, I am announcing $11 million for the creation of opportunities for young Egyptians and for the development of democratic institutions in Egypt and the broader Middle East.

Much more still remains to be done.

This morning, I met with Secretary-General of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, to discuss the general situation in the region, more particularly the events unfolding in Libya.

I impressed upon him the importance of Arab leadership in this crisis. Later, I met with [Egypt’s] Prime Minister [Essam] Sharaf and members of his cabinet to express Canada’s willingness to participate in that country’s transition from dictatorship to democracy.

I also met with members of Egyptian civil society. I was particularly impressed by the optimism and creativity of the youth I was able to meet.

I was touched by my visit to Tahrir Square, where the liberation movement began.

Everywhere, I witnessed the strong determination of Egyptian leaders to transform the clearly expressed will of the Egyptian people to build a society based on freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

Thank you.