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NEWS RELEASE · 16th April 2010
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
UPDATED: The planned visit of the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to Russia, Croatia and Finland has been postponed due to the volcanic ash emanating from Iceland. New dates for these visits have not yet been determined. Minister Cannon’s participation in the NATO foreign ministers meeting in Talinn, Estonia, has also been cancelled.

The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that he will travel to Moscow, Zagreb and Helsinki from April 18 to 21, 2010, and attend the NATO foreign ministers meeting in Tallinn, Estonia, on April 22 and 23.

“During my visits to Russia, Croatia and Finland, I look forward to discussing a range of bilateral engagements and international security issues, as well as Canadian priorities for the G8 and G20 summits,” said Minister Cannon.

In Russia, Minister Cannon will highlight the importance Canada attaches to its relationship to that country, as well as our commitment to collaborating to address international security issues through the G8. He will also build upon the momentum of high-level visits that have taken place over the past year.

In Croatia, Minister Cannon will meet with President Ivo Josipovic, and with Foreign Affairs Minister Gordan Jandrokovi. They will discuss bilateral, regional and security issues and build on the already deep people-to-people ties between the two countries, which are reflected in Canada’s 150,000-strong Croatian community.

While in Helsinki, Minister Cannon will meet with President Tarja Halonen and Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen to discuss bilateral, regional and international issues. The Minister will also visit a biofuels research facility and an icebreaking technology centre.

“I plan to meet with Alexander Stubb, Finland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister, and Artur Chilingarov, Russia’s Presidential Representative for International Cooperation in the Arctic and the Antarctic, to discuss Arctic and northern issues,” said Minister Cannon.

Following the visits and high-level meetings in Moscow, Zagreb and Helsinki, Minister Cannon will attend the NATO foreign ministers meeting in Tallinn.

“With the strategic concept review process currently underway, this year presents an excellent opportunity for allies to discuss how NATO can transform itself in order to ensure that it is equipped to manage the security challenges of today and tomorrow,” said Minister Cannon. “I look forward to discussions on issues of importance to Canada, including NATO’s peacebuilding and stabilization efforts in Afghanistan.”

The NATO foreign ministers meeting will include meetings of the North Atlantic Council, as well as a meeting with ministers of non-NATO countries contributing to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.