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March 8, 2007
OTTAWA—Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, arrived in Afghanistan today to begin her first visit to this country and to show her support for Canadian soldiers and the people of Afghanistan.
The Governor General stated that she wanted this visit to take place specifically on March 8, International Women’s Day. “The women of Afghanistan may face the most unbearable conditions, but they never stop fighting for survival. Of course, we, the rest of the women around the world, took too long to hear the cries of our Afghan sisters, but I am here to tell them that they are no longer alone. And neither are the people of Afghanistan,” said the Governor General.
Her Excellency indicated that she wanted her first visit to Afghanistan to be a sign of fellowship with the entire Afghan population. “Canada is proud to be among the 37 countries restoring stability and supporting reconstruction efforts. The work that has been accomplished in so little time is promising and we are proud to support the Afghan people on this difficult, sometimes painful, journey. On behalf of all Canadians, I wish the Afghan people peace, prosperity and happiness,” added the Governor General.
While in Afghanistan, the Governor General will meet with the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, His Excellency Hamid Karzai. She will also take part in a discussion with Afghan women today, International Women’s Day.
This visit will provide the Governor General with an opportunity to fulfill a longstanding desire to meet with Canadians in Afghanistan who are performing difficult, often dangerous, work on the ground: soldiers, RCMP teams, humanitarian workers and diplomats. She looks forward to conveying to them the messages of support and love that Canadians have expressed to her during her visits across Canada. For more information about the visit, please visit the Governor General’s website at www.gg.ca .
Marilyne Guèvremont or Isabelle Serrurier
Rideau Hall Press Office
613-998-7280 or 613-998-0287, www.gg.ca