Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Jean-Marc Ayrault, Prime Minister of the French Republic, today announced five initiatives that will further strengthen relations between the two countries in the areas of youth mobility, social security, science and technology, innovation and entrepreneurship, climate change, and the commemoration of Canadian and French involvement in 20th century conflicts. Prime Minister Ayrault is on his first official visit to Canada (March 13-17) since taking office in May 2012.
“Canada and France are important friends and allies who share deep historic, cultural, linguistic and commercial ties and who co-operate closely on the world stage,” said the Prime Minister. “The initiatives announced today will help increase the flow of people, scientific knowledge and commerce between our two great countries in the future and celebrate the joint sacrifices and accomplishments of our past.”
These agreements will serve to: facilitate travel between Canada and France for youth who are studying and travelling between the two countries; make it easier for people who have lived or worked in both Canada in France to claim benefits for the periods they were in the other country; and, foster various forms of collaboration and exchanges in scientific knowledge, including climate change and the need to reduce greenhouse gases. Lastly, the Declaration on 20th century conflicts helps pay tribute to the sacrifices and accomplishments that will forever unite Canada and France.
The two leaders also endorsed a Joint Statement recognizing the strong and diverse Canada-France relationship and discussed matters of shared interest, including the global economy, trade and investment, progress towards a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union, and international challenges such as the situation in Mali.
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