Minister of State Kent Congratulates People of Paraguay on Occasion of Their Independence Day

No. 134 - May 15, 2009 (7 p.m. EDT) The Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas), today congratulated the people of Paraguay on the occasion of their country’s Independence Day.

“Canada congratulates the people of Paraguay as they mark the 198th anniversary of their country’s independence,” said Minister of State Kent. “Sometimes referred to as Corazón de America, or the Heart of America, Paraguay has a rich and diverse cultural and historical heritage, which celebrates the influence of both the Spanish and the indigenous Guaraní peoples. We value our relations with Paraguay, which have grown stronger through our cooperation in many areas of common interest and are part of our wider engagement in the Americas. We note in particular our joint work in restoring peace and stability to Haiti.”

Canada and Paraguay enjoy strong academic and people-to-people links. The Canadian Studies Centre in Asunción, created in 1999, regularly invites Canadian professors to universities in Paraguay. Since 2000, Canada has participated regularly in local cultural activities organized around La Francophonie every March, with conferences by Canadian writers, exhibitions, plays, seminars on education and new technologies. Another important link is Paraguay's Mennonite community, which is 30,000-strong and includes 9,000 members who have Canadian citizenship.

Canada and Paraguay enjoy a frank, open and honest relationship in which representatives from the two countries regularly meet to discuss bilateral, multilateral and regional issues.

“We look forward to our continued relationship,” said Minister of State Kent.

For more information about Canada’s relations with Paraguay, please visit the following websites:

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada: Paraguay

Canadian International Development Agency: Paraguay

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Eleanor Johnston
Senior Special Assistant (Communications)
Office of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)
613-947-8981

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