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Canadian Foreign Affairs
February 22, 2007

The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, today issued the following statement on the United Nations action on Somalia:

“Canada welcomes the United Nations Security Council’s unanimous adoption this week of Resolution 1744, which authorizes the deployment of an African Union peace stabilization force and requests a technical assessment for transition to a UN force. This decision to deploy the African Union Mission in Somalia will contribute to the initial phase of stabilization in Somalia.

“Canada is following developments in Somalia closely. We are deeply concerned about the recent upsurge in violence and call on all parties in Somalia to work together to achieving lasting peace, security and reconciliation under an inclusive government—conditions that are essential to alleviating the suffering of the Somali people. We welcome Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed’s announcement to urgently convene a national reconciliation congress involving all stakeholders, including political, clan and religious leaders, and representatives of civil society.

“Canada remains concerned by the continuing humanitarian emergency in Somalia and urges all parties in that country to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect civilians, and to ensure full, safe and unhindered access by humanitarian workers to people in need. We are committed to working with neighbouring countries and encourage them to respect refugee law and principles, including facilitating access for asylum.”

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