Minister Nicholson Wraps Up Middle East Visit

When we recognize a very real threat like this, we cannot stand on the sidelines and watch. We must act, says Minister Nicholson.
March 5, 2015 – Amman, Jordan – Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today concluded a visit to the United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Jordan during which he met with key allies and senior leaders to discuss efforts to counter the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and other bilateral, regional and security issues.
Minister Nicholson had constructive and wide-ranging discussions with His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates; Haider al-Abadi, Prime Minister of Iraq, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Iraq’s Foreign Minister, and Salim al-Jabouri, Speaker of the Council of Representatives of Iraq; Masoud Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq; and Nasser Judeh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and Expatriate Affairs of Jordan.
As well as expressing concern over the escalation of armed conflict and the ensuing humanitarian crisis, Minister Nicholson noted that the scale and brutality of ISIL’s systematic targeting of vulnerable populations may also pose an existential threat to many religious and ethnic minority communities.
During his first international program as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister Nicholson toured the Great Synagogue in Paris, where he reiterated Canada’s call to confront the old hatred that is anti-Semitism in all its modern incarnations. While in the United Arab Emirates, the Minister visited the Ismaili Centre in Dubai to promote pluralism and tolerance in a region in which religious freedoms are deeply threatened by the radical ideological campaign of terrorism.
Quick Facts
Canada is extremely concerned with the takeover of Iraqi and Syrian territory by ISIL, which has resulted in significant internal displacement and has been characterized by abhorrent acts of violence against civilians. ISIL’s advance has destabilized the region and poses a very real threat to global security.
Gross acts of violence perpetrated by ISIL against religious communities, as well as the use of sexual and gender-based violence as an instrument of war, are ongoing and serious concerns to Canada.
To date, Canada has provided $67.4 million in humanitarian assistance funding in support of the international response to humanitarian needs in Iraq. This includes support in the areas of food, health, water, shelter, education, and protection, including in response to incidents of sexual and gender-based violence.

“Canada, the U.A.E., Iraq and Jordan have a common concern about ISIL: its savage campaign of terror, its persecution of religious and ethnic minority communities, its deliberate use of sexual violence against women and girls, and its recruitment of foreign fighters.
“When we recognize a very real threat like this, we cannot stand on the sidelines and watch. We must act—and that is precisely what we are doing through military action alongside our allies under Operation IMPACT, and through targeted humanitarian efforts to assist the civilians affected most deeply by these heinous acts of terror.”
– Rob Nicholson, Minister of Foreign Affairs

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Johanna QuinneyPress SecretaryOffice of the Minister of Foreign
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