OTTAWA, Canada – Following airstrikes carried out by the US on Iranian commander, Qasem Soleimani in Iraq, and the UN appeal for de-escalation across the Gulf region, Canada’s minister of foreign affairs François-Philippe Champagne said, “Canada is in contact with our international partners. The safety and well-being of Canadians in Iraq and the region, including our troops and diplomats, is our paramount concern.
“We call on all sides to exercise restraint and pursue de-escalation. Our goal is and remains a united and stable Iraq. Canada has long been concerned by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Qods Force, led by Qasem Soleimani, whose aggressive actions have had a destabilizing effect in the region and beyond.”
François-Philippe Champagne also issued the following statement on the wildfires in Australia:
“Canada is deeply saddened by the mounting deaths and destruction caused by the devastating wildfires in Australia. Since December 3, 2019, almost 100 Canadian fire management personnel have deployed to Australia, with more on the way soon. These Canadians are providing expertise and relief for the Australian staff that have been working extremely hard, and around the clock, since November.
“I have communicated with my Australian counterpart to reiterate that we are prepared to consider further assistance as necessary. When wildfires spread through Canadian communities, Australia answered our call for help. We are proud to do the same.
“Canadian citizens requiring emergency consular assistance should contact the High Commission of Canada in Australia at (61) 2 6270 4000 or the Consulate General of Canada in Sydney at 61 (2) 9364 3000. They may also contact Global Affairs Canada’s Emergency Watch and Response Centre by calling 0011-800-2326-6831 (toll-free from Australia) or by sending an email to email@example.com.
“Canadians who wish to help can donate to the Red Cross’s Disaster Relief and Recovery fund.”
In a tweet Sunday, prime minister Justin Trudeau said, “When wildfires spread through our communities, Australia answered our call for help. Now, Canadians are doing the same. Our two countries are close allies, and so many Canadians have connections to Australia. We’re going to help our friends get through this.”