Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada undertakes first visit to Afghanistan



    OTTAWA, March 8 /CNW Telbec/ - Her Excellency the Right Honourable
Michaelle 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 .




For further information:

For further information: Media information: Marilyne Guèvremont or
Isabelle Serrurier, Rideau Hall Press Office, (613) 998-7280 or (613)
998-7280, www.gg.ca

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