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Cablegate: Canadian Support for Unsg's Special Representative

VZCZCXRO2726
OO RUEHGA RUEHHA RUEHIK RUEHPOD RUEHQU RUEHVC RUEHYG
DE RUEHOT #0361 0721352
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 121352Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7505
INFO RUCNCAN/ALL CANADIAN POSTS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 0173

UNCLAS OTTAWA 000361

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL AF CA
SUBJECT: CANADIAN SUPPORT FOR UNSG'S SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE
FOR AFGHANISTAN

REF: STATE 25020

1. (U) Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier on March 11 expressed
Canada's support for Kai Eide as the UN Secretary General's
new Special Representative for Afghanistan, and will brief
the media on March 12. (Full text in para 2.) The House of
Commons again debated the future of the Canadian mission in
Kandahar on March 10, while the Commons' Standing Committee
on Foreign Affairs held a separate hearing on the Afghan
mission on March 11, featuring former Deputy Prime Minister
and Foreign Minister John Manley and members of his
Independent Panel. The Commons likely will vote on the
government's motion to extend the Canadian Forces' mission in
Afghanistan until 2011 -- contingent on NATO partners
providing 1,000 more troops and adequate helicopter and UAV
support -- on March 13, apparently with the support of the
Official Opposition Liberal Party.

2. (U) Begin text:

The Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Foreign Affairs,
today (March 11, 2008) issued the following statement
following the appointment of Kai Eide as the Special
Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Afghanistan:

"I welcome the appointment of Kai Eide as the Special
Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Afghanistan.
During my conversation with Mr. Eide yesterday morning, I
assured him that Canada stands ready to work with him and his
office to ensure an enhanced role for the UN in Afghanistan.

Canada has long advocated a strong leadership role for the
United Nations and the UN Special Representative for
Afghanistan to bolster international cooperation and to
advance the important work being undertaken by various UN
agencies across the country in support of the Afghan
government.

We look forward to working closely with Mr. Eide on
implementing the Afghanistan Compact in order to advance
development, governance and security in that country. Strong
coordination between new and existing international partners
is key to making this happen.

The Canadian government wishes to convey its sincere
appreciation to outgoing Special Representative Tom Koenigs
for his tremendous efforts in Afghanistan over the past two
years."
End text

Visit Canada,s Economy and Environment Forum at
http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/can ada

BREESE

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