Thursday, December 15, 2011

Canada to evacuate citizens from troubled Syria

The Canadian government has laid out its plans to get its citizens out of troubled Syria.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird encouraged Canadians still in Syria to get out while commercial means are still available.
Baird told CTV's Power Plan Thursday afternoon that Canadians in Syria should leave while they still can.
Syrian Charge d'Affaires to Canada
"The risks to our embassy folks are obvious," Baird said. "With respect to the Canadians that are there we might not be able to get them out. The airport is closed, Damascus is not on a port, so that obviously makes the means of getting them out tougher."

Baird and Minister of State Diane Ablonczy detailed the voluntary evacuation plan in a news conference on Thursday morning, following an escalation of violence in that country as its government tries to quell an ongoing uprising.
"We find it increasingly difficult to make air travel arrangements as the security situation continues to deteriorate," Baird said. He explained that the Canadian embassy in Damascus would "open an express lane" between now and Jan. 14 to help Canadians, their spouses and their children obtain the necessary documents in order to leave.
"If Canadians stay in Syria we cannot guarantee services at our embassy… will remain available," he said. "We strongly encourage Canadians in Syria to apply for travel documents... The time to leave Syria is now." More...


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