Canadian minister refuses to join Syria talks

Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird turned down an invitation this morning to attend a ‘make-or-break’ meeting on the future of Syria, reports the CBC.

The talks, led by the Norwegian foreign minister, will discuss the future of war-torn Syria. Over the past several years, Syria has faced significant civil strife.

Much of its population has been displaced and the country’s economy is in tatters. CBC estimates that over 200,000 Syrians have been killed in conflict.

This week’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland is an opportunity for world leaders to gather and discuss pressing economic and security issues. Instead of attending the future of Syria meeting, Baird will attend sessions on the future of the Ukraine and the growing terror threat in Iraq and Syria.

Baird’s refusal of the invitation, given to him yesterday, is suspected by some to be linked to the presence of Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Canada has cut all economic and political ties with Iran.

Some Canadian politicians think Baird’s absence at the Syria talks is inexcusable.

CBC has quoted Liberal Foreign Affairs critic Marc Garneau as calling Syria the most pressing international crisis on the table right now.


(Photo Courtesy Adrian Wyld: The Canadian Press)

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