Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that he will travel to Belgium to participate in the G-7 Brussels Summit on June 4 and 5, 2014. Prior to the Summit, he will travel to Warsaw, Poland, on June 3 and 4, 2014. The Prime Minister will end his travels in Normandy, France, to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy on June 6 and 7, 2014.
The G-7 Summit brings together the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, the European Council and the European Commission.
Discussions at this year’s G-7 Summit will focus on Russia’s continuing illegal occupation of Ukraine, in addition to addressing other political and security challenges, including in Syria, Iran and North Korea. Prime Minister Harper will also be advocating for actions that strengthen the global economy, increase energy security, and promote development, including sustaining international momentum on maternal, newborn and child health issues, generated by the Toronto Summit taking place on May 28 to 30, 2014.
In Warsaw, Poland, the Prime Minister will join other world leaders in celebrating the Polish Day of Freedom, marking the 25th anniversary of Poland’s emergence from communism. He will also meet with Prime Minister Donald Tusk to further discuss the international community’s response to the crisis in Ukraine.
In Normandy, France, Prime Minister Harper will partake in commemorations with Canadian veterans marking the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, and honour the sacrifices made by Canadian and allied Forces and their families during the Second World War. He will also meet with Canadian youth as part of this remembrance.
- Relations between Canada and Poland are excellent, with broad political contacts, strong trade and investment, effective military cooperation, and growing academic and cultural relations. Developments in Ukraine have brought shared Canadian and Polish values to the forefront and our two countries are working hand in hand to foster freedom and democracy in the region.
- The G-7 is a forum for the leaders of seven of the world’s most industrialized nations, aimed at finding common ground on key topics and solutions to global issues. While the leaders of these countries are in regular contact, they meet in summit format once a year.
- On D-Day (June 6, 1944), Canadian and other Allied troops stormed German defences on the beaches of Normandy, France, to open the way to Germany from the West. This was one of Canada’s most significant and successful military engagements, and a pivotal moment of the 20th century. D-Day and the campaign that followed in Normandy would help signal the beginning of the end of the Second World War.
- In the days and weeks that followed D-Day, more than 90,000 Canadians fought through the dust and summer heat of Normandy. More than 5,000 laid down their lives.
- Canada and France have excellent and long-lasting bilateral relations based on shared history, culture, common values, and economic and military cooperation.
“Canada and Poland are close friends and allies and enjoy excellent bilateral relations. I look forward to joining President Bronisław Komorowski, the people of Poland, as well as Canada’s vibrant Polish community in celebrating the 25th anniversary of the beginning of Poland’s transition from communism to democracy.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper
“The G-7 Summit provides an important forum for like-minded countries to meet and discuss political, economic and security issues. I look forward to meeting with my counterparts to explore ways to strengthen the global economy, increase energy security and promote development in vulnerable countries.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper
“D-Day is one of the most defining moments in Canada’s proud military history. Seventy years later, it will be my honour to travel to France to pay tribute to the brave men and women who fought and died for us on the battlefields to liberate Europe and the world from Nazi oppression.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper