Canada to participate in meetings of Contact Group on Libya and NATO foreign ministers

Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon will lead a delegation to the inaugural meeting of the Contact Group on Libya in Doha on Wednesday, it was announced here on Monday.

He will also attend the NATO Foreign Ministers Meeting in Berlin, which will be held on Thursday and Friday.

The Contact Group on Libya was established in London on March 29 when representatives from 39 countries, the United Nations, NATO and the League of Arab States met to consider the needs of the Libyan people and identify ways to support them in their aspirations for a better future.

The Contact Group meeting in Doha will be co-chaired by Britain and Qatar.

The NATO meeting will be hosted by Guido Westerwelle, Germany's Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, under the chairmanship of Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the NATO secretary-general.

Participants will discuss Libya and Afghanistan, and review progress on decisions made at the Lisbon Summit in November 2010.

Canada has participated in the NATO-led mission to enforce a UN Security Council-approved no-fly zone in Libya by deploying some 570 members of the Canadian Forces in the Mediterranean. The country has also deployed a total of six CF-18s fighter jets, two CC-150 air-to-air refueling aircraft, one C-17 Globemaster strategic transportation aircraft and two C-130J Hercules tactical transportation aircraft, as well as its frigate HMCS Charlottetown.

Canadian fighter jets have attacked targets in Libya in the first actual combat mission since 1999.

[Source: Xinhua, Ottawa, 11Apr11]

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