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November 13, 2014 – Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today concluded a successful visit to the United Arab Emirates, where he met with His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, and other senior officials to advance a number of foreign policy priorities and review progress in the two nations’ Shared Strategic Agenda.
“We had warm and productive discussions on keeping up the momentum in our strategic partnership,” said Baird. “We are very like-minded on a number of international issues, and share deep concern about the regional security situation.
“I welcome the substantial progress achieved in the development of a defence cooperation arrangement between our two nations. Canada is firmly committed to working with the U.A.E. and other allies to combat the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIL].”
The U.A.E. is also Canada’s largest merchandise export market in the Middle East and North Africa region. While in the U.A.E., Minister Baird met with the Canada-U.A.E. Business Council, a private sector-led initiative launched in October 2013 to help create economic opportunities for both countries.
“As a priority market under the government’s Global Markets Action Plan, the U.A.E. offers tremendous opportunities for Canadian businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises,” said Baird. “Canada is constantly seeking opportunities to strengthen the trade and investment ties between our two countries, and I firmly believe that our engagement in the U.A.E. commercial sector is a strategic investment in Canada’s own prosperity and security.”
Baird was accompanied on his trip by a business delegation seeking to capitalize on the many opportunities across a variety of sectors in the U.A.E., which has one of the region’s most dynamic economies. His trip wraps up this weekend after participating in the Sir Bani Yas Forum, an annual, high-level international gathering to discuss critical issues of peace and security in the Middle East.
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