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July 4, 2016 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada
The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that he will travel to the Netherlands, Italy and Poland from July 5 to 10, 2016.
Minister Dion’s European meetings will provide an opportunity to hear views on post-Brexit developments and next steps, and to reiterate Canada’s commitment to signing and implementing the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) as soon as possible. On these issues, Minister Dion has already spoken at length with his counterpart at the EU in addition to the foreign ministers of France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
In The Hague, Minister Dion and his Dutch counterpart, Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders, will discuss their respective countries’ shared foreign policy priorities as well as continued collaboration on CETA, peacekeeping, migration and inclusion, and at the UN.
Minister Dion will also meet with representatives of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to underline Canada’s re-engagement in international disarmament issues and its strong support for OPCW’s work. Topics of discussion will include recent efforts to eliminate chemical weapons in Syria and Libya, and the threat posed by non-state actors—such as the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)—acquiring weapons of mass destruction.
In a meeting at the International Criminal Court, Minister Dion will stress Canada’s support for the Court’s efforts to hold to account those responsible for serious international crimes, including war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
In Rome, Minister Dion will meet with Italy’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Paolo Gentiloni, to discuss increased cooperation on priority issues. The ministers will underscore shared concerns, including Russia’s actions in Ukraine, the fight against terrorism, the plight of refugees, and the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, notably in Libya.
Minister Dion will also offer his congratulations in person to both the Netherlands and Italy, who were recently elected to sit on the United Nations Security Council as non-permanent members for two-year mandates.
Also while in Italy, Minister Dion will meet with representatives of Canada’s largest humanitarian partner, the World Food Programme, to discuss the humanitarian situation in Syria, and in particular how to provide humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable populations.
The minister will then travel to Poland to participate in the 2016 NATO Summit in Warsaw, joining Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan. Following the Summit, Minister Dion will visit Auschwitz-Birkenau, the former Nazi concentration camp.
“I look forward to meeting with my European counterparts to discuss a range of common issues and challenges. CETA is a top priority, and Canada and the EU are moving forward with this progressive trade agreement.”
“In becoming the fourth framework nation in NATO, Canada is playing a leadership role to support the alliance’s strengthened deterrence and defence posture in Eastern and Central Europe. With increasing threats of terrorism around the world, the NATO Summit comes at an important moment for our security and collective defence.”
– Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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