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  2. His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston
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News

Christmas with Canadian Troops and Civilians Abroad

December 25, 2011

Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada Visited Canadian Troops and Civilians Deployed Abroad for the Holidays

OTTAWA—His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, visited from December 22 to 25, 2011, Canadian troops and civilians deployed in Italy and Afghanistan. His Excellency was joined by the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, and General Walt Natynczyk, Chief of the Defence Staff.

 "It was a privilege to extend my heartfelt gratitude and support to the Canadian men and women in uniform, and the many diplomats, aid specialists and police officers deployed abroad, who are committed to making parts of the world a safer and better place. The sacrifice of troops and civilians who are away from their families and friends at this time of the year is tremendous and I wish them the best of luck in the completion of their missions," said His Excellency.  

Summary of activities during the visit

Upon his arrival in Rome, the Governor General visited the HMCS Vancouver, where he met with troops and thanked them for patrolling off the Libyan coast and for successfully contributing to the NATO mission in this region, which led to the liberation of Libya in October 2011. 

Following the State funeral of Václav Havel, former president of the Czech Republic, in Prague, His Excellency then proceeded to Kabul, where he met with Hamid Karzai, president of Afghanistan, to discuss Canada’s new engagement strategy in Afghanistan and to recognize Canada’s significant investments, but as well as its losses in the country to date. His Excellency also met with Dr. Omar Zakhilwal, minister of Finance, Mr. Farooq Wardak, minister of Education, and Dr. Suraya Dalil, acting minister of Public Health, to discuss Afghanistan’s future. Furthermore, he had an opportunity to celebrate Christmas with a diverse array of Canadians making contributions in Afghanistan. 

Later on, His Excellency visited the Armed Forces Academy of Medical Sciences and engaged with Canadian Forces medical personnel who are mentoring Afghan medical staff. The Governor General concluded his trip to Afghanistan with a meet and greet with troops at Camp Alamo, Camp Black Horse and Canada House where he attended a Christmas concert put on by Canadian performers.

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Media information:

Marie-Ève Létourneau
Rideau Hall Press Office
613-998-0287
613-302-0912 (cell.)
marie-eve.letourneau@gg.ca

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