OTTAWA, Canada, April 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today announced that he will travel to Egypt and Oman from April 17 to 20, 2014. During his trip, he will discuss economic and security issues as well as important regional issues, including the situation in Iran and Syria and the Middle East peace process.
This will be Baird’s first bilateral visit to Cairo, where he will meet with members of Egypt’s interim government, leaders of the Arab League and religious groups. Discussions will focus on how Canada can most effectively stand with and support Egyptians through this critical time.
“We stand with the Egyptian people in their efforts to build a stable, inclusive, prosperous and democratic Egypt based on respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law,” said Baird. “While we recognize the difficult political and security challenges facing Egypt, this visit will signal Canada’s willingness to support Egypt during this important transition.”
Baird will also pay his first bilateral visit to Oman, to meet with key government officials and business leaders and to discuss ways to strengthen bilateral relations and increase trade ties.
Canada places great importance on its relationship with Oman and with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). This visit will provide an opportune time to discuss Canada-GCC partnerships, prosperity and economic development, as well as matters of regional security.
After his visit to Oman, Baird will have paid bilateral visits to all six GCC countries.
A Canada-GCC strategic dialogue was proposed in 2013 in New York City to discuss economic prosperity and regional security issues.
Minister Baird’s schedule:
• Cairo, Egypt: Thursday, April 17, and Friday, April 18
• Muscat, Oman: Saturday, April 19, and Sunday, April 20
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