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Archived - Baird Visits Saudi Arabia, Discusses Fight Against ISIL

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October 16, 2014 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today visited Saudi Arabia, where he met with senior leaders to discuss key bilateral, regional and security issues, particularly efforts to combat the heinous actions of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

“ISIL is a threat, and not just to Canada and Saudi Arabia,” said Baird. “Canada’s security is inextricably linked to that of other countries; that’s why we have joined Saudi Arabia in the United States-led international coalition taking part in air strikes against ISIL targets.”

Baird had a constructive and wide-ranging discussion with His Royal Highness Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense. On the situation of human rights, Baird continued to encourage the participation of women in all aspects of Saudi Arabian society as a source of economic prosperity and political stability.

Baird discussed many regional and global issues, including the situations in Iraq and Yemen, with his friend and counterpart, His Royal Highness Prince Saud Al-Faisal, including Saudi Arabia’s role in Yemen.

“Canada appreciates the role of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council in providing leadership and support to Yemen during the country’s political transition,” Baird said.

Baird also met with His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, Minister of Interior, and Iyad Ameen Madani, Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

During the visit, Baird toured a de-radicalization centre.

“ISIL perverts the peaceful message of Islam with its barbaric methods,” Baird said. “We recognize the value of Saudi Arabia’s domestic de-radicalization work and its investments in international counter-terrorism efforts.”

For more information please visit Canada’s response to the situation in Iraq.

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