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Libyan Newswire
  • FACT SHEET: Wales Summit – NATO’s Changing Role in Afghanistan

    The White House

    Office of the Press Secretary

    For Immediate Release

    September 04, 2014

    NATO’s mission in Afghanistan has been the Alliance’s largest and one of its longest-running military operations, with 50 coalition countries contributing a peak of 140,000 troops over a 13-year campaign.  The United States, together with NATO Allies and partners, support a sovereign, stable, unified, and democratic Afghanistan and will continue our partnership with Afghanistan based on the principles of mutual respect and mutual accountability.  Moreover, we believe that an Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process is the surest way to end violence and ensure lasting stability for Afghanistan and the region. 

    International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).  Since 2001, ISAF has assisted Afghan authorities in maintaining security and developing the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), per a United Nations mandate and at the request of the Afghan government.  The ISAF mission is part of the overall international effort to enable the Government of Afghanistan to exercise its authority throughout the country by providing security and stability to the Afghan people.  NATO assumed command of the ISAF mission in August 2003.

    • At the Lisbon Summit in 2010, Afghanistan and ISAF nations, including the United States, committed to transition full responsibility for security to the Afghan Government by the end of 2014.  Afghanistan and ISAF nations reaffirmed that commitment in 2012 at the Chicago Summit and took a step further announcing a mid-2013 milestone after which the ANSF would be in the lead for security nationwide and the ISAF role would transition from combat to support. 

    • Since June 2013, the ANSF has been in the lead, with modest coalition support, and has exceeded most expectations.  Today, ISAF forces focus primarily on training, advising, and assisting their Afghan counterparts.  At the end of 2014, the ANSF will assume full responsibility for security and the ISAF mission will end. 

    Resolute Support.  At the Wales Summit, NATO Allies and partners reaffirmed their intent to conduct a non-combat train, advise, and assist mission in Afghanistan beyond 2014, known as Resolute Support, contingent upon the Afghans signing a Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) and a status of forces agreement (SOFA) with NATO.  This new advisory mission would be at the security ministry and national institutional level, with advising to the ANSF at the corps level and advising to Afghan special operations forces at the tactical level.  This non-combat mission would be centered in the Kabul-Bagram area, with a regional presence in the north, west, south, and east. It would initially include approximately 12,000 troops.  Four Allied nations have agreed to serve as “framework nations” – Turkey will lead in the capital; Germany will lead in the north; Italy will lead in the west; and the United States will lead in the south and east.  NATO is prepared to commence this mission at the beginning of 2015.

    • For the United States’ part, President Obama announced on May 27, 2014 that the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan will end by the end of this year and, contingent upon a signed BSA and NATO SOFA, the United States would be prepared to continue “two narrow missions” in Afghanistan after 2014:  “training Afghan forces and supporting counterterrorism operations against the remnants of al-Qa’ida.” 

    • At the beginning of 2015, we anticipate 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan with the majority participating in the NATO-led Resolute Support mission.  By the end of 2015, we would reduce that presence by roughly half, consolidating our troops in Kabul and Bagram Airfield.  By the end of 2016, our military presence would shift to a strong security assistance mission based from our embassy.  This presence would serve as the basis for sustained security cooperation with the Afghan government and continued coordination with Allies’ and partners’ efforts to advise and assist the Afghan security ministries and to continue to develop ANSF capabilities.

    Financial Sustainment of the ANSF.  At the Wales Summit, NATO Allies and partners renewed their commitment to contribute significantly to the financial sustainment of the ANSF through the end of 2017 and to financially sustain the ANSF throughout the decade of transformation.  The international community has pledged nearly €1 billion annually to sustain the ANSF for 2015 through the end of 2017.  The United States has requested up to $4.1 billion in our 2015 budget, which would help sustain the ANSF surge end strength of 352,000 through 2015.  The United States expects that Afghanistan will assume an increasing portion of ANSF sustainment costs beginning with $500 million in 2015, as agreed at the Chicago Summit.  To ensure that donors can confidently commit their financial support to the ANSF over the long term, NATO Allies and partners welcomed the development of effective funding mechanisms including the strengthening of the Afghan National Army Trust Fund and the establishment of the Oversight and Coordination Body.  And finally, NATO Allies and partners look forward to working with Afghanistan to review planning for a sufficient and sustainable ANSF beyond 2015.

    NATO-Afghanistan Enduring Partnership.  At the Wales Summit, NATO nations reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen its enduring partnership with Afghanistan, which would serve as the foundation for longer term security cooperation between NATO and Afghanistan.

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  • Address by Minister Christian Paradis: Event to Announce Funding for the Canadian Red Cross Society

    September 4, 2014 – Vancouver, British Columbia

    Check Against Delivery

    Good morning.

    Thank you for coming.

    And thank you Conrad for that kind introduction.

    I am happy to be here today to announce the next step in Canada’s 40 year relationship with the Canadian Red Cross.

    Together we are saving lives, restoring hope and maintaining dignity for millions around the world touched by tragedy.

    2013 saw more than 350 natural disasters.

    These killed over 10,000 people.

    And affected more than 124 million.

    Many of the people affected by natural disasters are also affected by:

    • conflicts,
    • civil unrest,
    • health emergencies, and
    • epidemics.

    These continue to affect hundreds of millions of people.

    Particularly across the developing world.

    We all remember the crippling typhoon in the Philippines last year.

    The devastating earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010.

    Or the massive tsunami that hit in Thailand, Indonesia and Sri Lanka in 2004.

    Canada responded to all these disasters.

    But there are so many more that are not high-profile enough to attract funding internationally.

    That is why, in June 2012, our government entered into a strategic partnership with the Canadian Red Cross.

    We started working together to increase our capacity to respond to natural disaster and conflicts.

    We also wanted to help communities become more resilient and prepared for such events.

    And to better able to support local responses to emergencies.

    Under this partnership, for every dollar contributed by Canadian Red Cross our Government contributes three.

    Our first project was the Enhanced Emergency Disaster Assistance Fund.

    This fund is specifically designed to respond to those small and medium scale emergencies. 

    Through this innovative initiative we have increased our capacity to provide assistance to people in need.

    And we are able to respond to disasters within 48 hours.

    That is why, today, our government is announcing a $10.8 million grant to the Canadian Red Cross Society.

    These funds will allow them to maintain the Enhanced Emergency Disaster Assistance Fund project.

    And it will allow the Red Cross to continue to manage Canada’s emergency relief stockpiles.

    These are stockpiles of basic, lifesaving necessities ready to be shipped around the world on a moment’s notice.

    Because quickly reaching people with food, water and essential supplies can be a matter of life and death.

    Canada’s stockpiles are stored in Mississauga Ontario.

    And, as I announced last week, Canada now also stores part of its emergency stockpile in Dubai as well.

    During the last six years, we have provided emergency relief items in response to 14 humanitarian emergencies.

    Maintaining stockpiles on both sides of the globe will allow us to reach people in Africa and Asia more rapidly.

    It will allow us to provide relief.

    To restore hope.

    And, with the help of the Canadian Red Cross, it will allow us to continue to save lives.

    Thank you.

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  • Canada’s gateway to Asia-Pacific stronger with completion of Roberts Bank projects

    The Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative (APGCI) aims to make Canada’s Asia-Pacific Gateway the best transportation network for facilitating global supply chains between North America and Asia. To date, the Government of Canada has invested approximately $1.4 billion in APGCI infrastructure projects, in partnership with all four western provinces, municipalities and the private sector, for a total project value of approximately $3.5 billion.

    Quotes

    “The Roberts Bank Rail Corridor program significantly strengthens Canada’s gateway to the Asia-Pacific region. This unprecedented government and industry partnership has built a rail corridor that enhances our transportation and trade links to important markets while improving safety for local communities.”
    The Honourable Lisa Raitt
    Minister of Transport

    “The completion of the Mufford Overpass is a milestone, bringing the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor program into full operation. The RBRC program clearly demonstrates the power of the Pacific Gateway concept and the importance of partnerships. The Province has worked with its partners to enhance quality of life by supporting these projects designed to reduce congestion and provide a safer commute through communities along the corridor, as well as enabling a more reliable and efficient flow of goods through Canada’s Pacific Gateway.”
    Daryl Plecas, MLA for Abbotsford South
    Province of British Columbia

    “The Roberts Bank Rail Corridor program is improving the safety and efficiency of both the road and rail networks in communities through which rail traffic travels to and from port terminals, while increasing capacity to respond to growing demand for Canadian trade. I am proud of the collaboration that has resulted in the opening of these projects, to the benefit of communities and industry alike.”
    Robin Silvester
    President and Chief Executive Officer, Port Metro Vancouver

    “By eliminating local at-grade rail crossings, the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor projects reduce local congestion and help keep people and goods moving across the region. Transportation investments like these underpin a strong thriving economy and are key to meeting the needs of our growing region.”
    Marcella Szel
    TransLink Board Chair

    “The Roberts Bank Rail Corridor is a product of exceptional teamwork between all levels of government and the private sector. The City of Surrey is proud to be a partner in the project. With the completion of the corridor, residents will benefit from a safer and more reliable road network and businesses can expect for a smoother and more efficient movement of goods.”
    Dianne Watts
    Mayor of the City of Surrey

    “This project demonstrates the value of collaboration and is a testament to the commitment shown by each of the partners to support local quality of life interests, along with the provincial and national interests of enhanced trade competiveness and jobs creation.”
    Ted Schaffer
    Acting Mayor of the City of Langley

    “Separating trains from traffic at Mufford Crescent to enhance safety and reduce congestion has been Langley Township’s main transportation priority for years. The completion of this overpass and the other RBRC projects will provide great relief for both residents and businesses. We appreciate the funding and cooperation that this partnership generated and extend our thanks to our funding partners. ‎The resulting overpasses will improve travel in our region for years to come.”
    Jack Froese
    Mayor of the Township of Langley

    “Safety is the utmost priority when it comes to rail traffic in our community. The Roberts Bank Rail Corridor improvement projects strengthen the economy and improve safety by ensuring that residents and goods can securely travel across the rail corridor. This is another example of all levels of government coming together to benefit our residents.”
    Lois E. Jackson
    Mayor of the Corporation of Delta

    “The trade supportive infrastructure now coming on line helps us provide more timely and efficient service for our customers. It is the outcome of a unique partnership between industry and government and it has achieved real results.”
    Keith Creel
    Canadian Pacific Railway President and Chief Operating Officer

    Related Products

    Associated Links

    Contacts

    Jana Régimbal
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable Lisa Raitt
    Minister of Transport, Ottawa
    613-991-0700

    Media Relations
    Transport Canada, Ottawa
    613-993-0055

    Media Line
    Government Communications and Public Engagement
    BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
    250-356-8241

    John Parker-Jervis
    Media & Government Affairs Advisor
    Port Metro Vancouver
    604-665-9267

    Media Relations
    TransLink
    604-803-3199
    media@translink.ca

    Oliver Lum
    Communications Manager, Office of the Mayor
    City of Surrey
    604-591-4519

    Christie Judson
    Communications Officer
    City of Langley
    604-514-2823

    Erin Brocklehurst
    Corporate Media Liaison
    Township of Langley
    604-533-6122

    Mayor’s Office
    Corporation of Delta
    604-946-3210

    Ed Greenberg
    Canadian Pacific Railway Media Relations
    612-849-4717

    Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to e-news or stay connected through RSS, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr to keep up to date on the latest from Transport Canada.

    This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons living with visual disabilities.

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  • Queens County Fair Upgrading Facilities to Host New Community Events

    Agriculture Association Continues to Help Community Grow

    September 4, 2014 – Caledonia, NS – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

    The annual exhibition grounds in Caledonia are a central community meeting place and provide a venue for a wide variety of events in the immediate community and the surrounding North Queens area. Over the next year, the facilities located at the Queens County Fair Association (QCFA) will be upgraded to support year-round activities, thanks in part to a federal contribution of $68,250 as announced today by the Honourable Rob Moore, Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency), and Gerald Keddy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue and for ACOA and Member of Parliament (South Shore–St. Margaret’s).

    Improvements will be made to the pavilion, the west field gatehouse and main building. In addition, a 256 square foot wheelchair accessible service facility will be constructed. The renovations will result in increased versatility for the venue and will allow for larger events such as farmers markets, livestock and equestrian shows. These improvements will result in increased winter use, including the return of outdoor skating.

    The Government of Canada is providing a contribution of $68,250 to the project through ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund (ICF). Additionally, the Province of Nova Scotia is investing $38,000 through the Province of Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

    Quick Facts:

    • Land for the QFCA was originally purchased in 1886 for $10.
    • In 2012, the main building and the pavilion were recognized by the Region of Queens’ heritage designation program and presented with heritage plaques.
    • The annual Queens County Fair takes place over five days each September days and includes many exhibits from all over Nova Scotia. This year’s event runs from September 16 through 20.

    Quotes:

    “Our Government is pleased to support the Queens County Fair Association. Upgrades to the fair site will improve accessibility and its capacity to host larger and more varied events in the area. By improving this vital piece of community infrastructure, the Association is opening doors for further growth and long-term sustainability.”

         – The Honourable Rob Moore, Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

    “The Queens County Fair Association has worked hard to maximize the value of their facilities through the continued development of the fair site. This project will help the Association re-energize the fair grounds to support year-round community events.”

         – Gerald Keddy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue and for the Atlantic Canada     Opportunities Agency and Member of Parliament for South Shore-St. Margaret’s

    “The upgrades to Queen’s County Fair will increase the variety of activity and events held here throughout the year, and attract a greater number of visitors. This is a great community project that supports growth in the area’s economy and we’re pleased to support it.”

         – Tony Ince, Minister, Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage

    “Giving back to our community is something we at the Queens County Fair Association sincerely value, and these upgrades will help us do just that in an immense way. This project is the stepping stone we need to further develop and strengthen our community.”

         – David Freeman, President, Queens County Fair Association

    Associated Links:

    Contacts:

    Kelsie Corey
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister of State
    Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
    613-941-7241

    Alex Smith
    Director, Communications and Outreach
    Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
    902-426-9417 / 902-448-2748 (cell)
    Email: Alex.Smith@acoa-apeca.gc.ca 

    Glenn Friel
    Media Relations Advisor
    Government of Nova Scotia
    902- 456-7416
    Email: frielgp@gov.ns.ca

    Doreen Holdright
    Secretary Manager
    Queens County Fair Association
    902-682-2567
    Email: doreenh@eastlink.ca

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  • UN Humanitarian Coordinator visits displaced people in Malakal, South Sudan

    4 Sep 2014

    Listen /

    Malakal, South Sudan. OCHA@PHOTO

    South Sudanese people displaced by fighting between government and opposition forces in Malakal town were visited by the UN humanitarian Coordinator in the country, Toby Lanzer on Thursday.

    Mr. Lanzer was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Trade and International Cooperation of the Netherlands during a visit to the UN Protection of Civilians site in the town in Upper Nile State.

    They were there to assess the living conditions of up to 17,000 displaced persons who have sought safety at the site.

    Mr. Lanzer spoke about the importance of their visit.

    “I think today is been a very important visit because this is the most senior official in the Netherlands who is looking at Humanitarian Aid, looking at development, the good people of the Netherlands have been very strong supporters of the people of South Sudan and I am hopeful with this visit today such support will continue”. (17″)

    The UN official and the Dutch government official also visited a clinic operated by a volunteer organization called Doctors Without Borders, known by its French acronym MSF.

    Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations

    Duration: 1’06″

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  • There are serious human rights abuses in Libya: UN report

    4 Sep 2014

    Listen /

    OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani. Photo: UN Multimedia

    Serious human rights abuses are taking place in the Libyan cities of Tripoli and Benghazi which are mired in conflict by armed groups, according to a United Nations report released on Thursday.

    The joint report by the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the UN Human Rights Office details accounts of civilian casualties, including women, children and foreigners.

    It says that abuses include indiscriminate shelling and attacks on civilian installations such as hospitals, the abduction of civilians, torture and killings.

    Ravina Shamdasani, Spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office in Geneva says the situation in Tripoli and Benghazi is seriously deteriorating.

    “We have seen a lot of fighting going on between armed groups in these two cities in particular and, unfortunately, many of the weapons that are being used by these armed groups are unreliable, inaccurate, old and poorly maintained and the fighters often appear to disregard the likely impact on civilians. What has ended up happening is we are seeing civilian casualties in densely populated areas and there is a high likelihood that most of these attacks carried out are indiscriminate.” (25″)

    UNSMIL estimates that at least 100,000 Libyans have been internally displaced by the fighting and 150,000 people, including many migrant workers, have left the country.

    Libya has been struggling to restore stability since the overthrow of Muammar Gadhafi three years ago.

    Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

    Duration: 1’39″

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