The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, today made the following statement in response to recent events in southern Lebanon:
"Canada strongly condemns Hizbollah’s attack on Israel, which has included the capture of two Israeli soldiers and the launching of Katyusha rockets and mortar bombs into Israeli towns. These actions only exacerbate tensions in the Middle East, threaten the lives of civilians, and risk a deteriorating humanitarian situation.
"We urge Hizbollah to immediately and unconditionally release the Israeli soldiers. We call on the Lebanese government to do its utmost to restore order within its border and to fully implement Security Council resolution 1559. We also call on Syria and Iran, both long time supporters of Hizbollah, to cease all financial and other assistance to the organization.
"Canada remains deeply concerned about the well being of civilians. We urge all parties to act with restraint and take all possible measures to protect innocent civilian lives."
[12 July, 2006]