Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today that the Governor General of Canada, Her Excellency the Right Honorable Mary Simon, will travel to the Middle East for working visits from March 17 to 23, 2022.
The Governor General will visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Kuwait. In each of these three countries, she will meet with Canadian ambassadors, members of the Canadian Armed Forces deployed in the region, as well as heads of state and other senior leaders of the three countries in order to strengthen our bilateral relations. In these times of global uncertainty, strengthening relationships between countries is of the highest priority.
While in the United Arab Emirates, the Governor General will represent Canada and be the guest of honor on Canada’s National Day at Expo 2020, Dubai. Her Excellency’s presence at Expo 2020 will help promote Canadian leadership, innovation and opportunity in all sectors of society while highlighting the importance of collaboration across countries and cultures.
During his visits, His Excellency will take the opportunity to thank the governments of the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait for their central role in the evacuation of Canadians and Afghans from Kabul since August, as part of the efforts global evacuation from Afghanistan. While in Kuwait, in her capacity as Commander-in-Chief of Canada, she will also visit Camp Canada at Ali Al Salem Air Base, where she will meet with members of the Canadian Armed Forces stationed in the country as part of the IMPACT operation. . In Qatar, Her Excellency will meet with members of the Canadian Armed Forces stationed at Al-Udeid Air Base.
This will be Her Excellency’s second foreign visit since becoming Governor General of Canada.
“Her Excellency’s visit to the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait will help reinforce Canada’s commitment to strengthening our relationships with our allies and partners around the world during these uncertain times. His participation in Expo 2020 will also showcase Canadian culture on the world stage and his visit to Camp Canada will help demonstrate our support for our Canadian Armed Forces members, no matter where they serve.
- Canada and the United Arab Emirates have a broad and deep relationship focused on the prosperity of both societies, the strengthening of regional and global security and the contribution to economic and social development in third countries, including the empowerment of women and girls.
- Originally scheduled to open in Dubai in October 2020, Expo 2020 was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has the largest number of participating countries in Expo history, with 192 – each with its own pavilion. Canada’s National Day at Expo is March 19, 2022.
- Canada and Qatar have enjoyed uninterrupted diplomatic relations since 1974. The Gulf state is an important security partner and diplomatic player in the region.
- Qatar hosts the US Army Central Command (CENTCOM) at Al-Udeid Air Base in Doha, including Canadian Armed Forces personnel supporting the Global Coalition against Daesh.
- Canada and Kuwait have enjoyed strong bilateral relations since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1965. Our two countries share common views and interests in several areas, including peace and security, humanitarian affairs, trade and the investment.
- Kuwait is home to hundreds of Canadian Armed Forces personnel at Ali Al Salem Air Base. Home to Camp Canada, the air base is the center of Operation IMPACT.