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Governor General to travel to Argentina and Chile on first State visit

April 10, 2001

OTTAWA – Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General of Canada, and His Excellency John Ralston Saul, will make their first official State Visit to Argentina and Chile from May 1-15, 2001, at the invitation of His Excellency Fernando de la Rúa, President of Argentina, and His Excellency Ricardo Lagos Escobar, President of Chile.

The delegation that accompanies the Governor General will take an active role in the visit that will demonstrate the multifaceted character of Canada.

"By leading a delegation of distinguished Canadian artists, scientists, cultural and business leaders that will engage their counterparts in innovative ways, we hope to give form and life to the idea of Canada in the minds of the Argentine and Chilean people," said the Governor General.

Under the theme Bringing People Together, writers, artists, Aboriginal leaders, scientists, doctors, academics, leaders from the wine, food and agrobusiness sectors, directors of major cultural institutions as well as Ministers and Parliamentarians will be fully engaged throughout the programme with leading Argentines and Chileans. Direct contact with their counterparts through organized debates and discussions will give participants the opportunity to explore each other's ideas and experiences.

The visit to Argentina will begin in Buenos Aires and proceed from there to a number of smaller cities and towns. The delegation will then continue to Chile beginning in Santiago and again on to smaller centres.
Highlights will include meetings with national and local leaders, as well as a full schedule of meetings and discussions, visits of Canadian joint-projects, and the presentation and discussion of Canadian cultural events and exhibits. There will also be opportunities for delegation members to visit agricultural, academic, cultural and business facilities, providing further occasions to continue the exchange between the delegation and their Argentine and Chilean counterparts.

In recent years, Canada has reaffirmed its identity as a nation of the Americas and re-energized its relations with its hemispheric neighbours. Canada has hosted a number of major meetings and events and taken a leading role in multilateral discussions on hemispheric free trade. Canada enjoys strong and growing political and trade relations with Argentina and Chile. By visiting these countries with a wide ranging delegation of Canadians, the Governor General hopes to build on that foundation, strengthening existing links and establishing new relationships between leading figures in a wide range of sectors.

Governors General regularly receive heads of state visiting Canada and travel abroad on State Visits, contributing to the conduct of Canada's relations with other countries. This marks the first visit ever by a
Canadian Governor General to these two countries. The last Canadian State Visit to South America was made by Governor General Jeanne Sauvé to Brazil and Uruguay in 1989. Since then, Governor General Ramon Hnatyshyn undertook State Visits to Portugal, Ukraine, Hungary, China and Korea. Governor General Roméo LeBlanc visited the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Austria, India and Pakistan, as well as Senegal, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, Mali and Morocco.

A detailed itinerary of the visit and a list of delegation members will be issued prior to the visit.

Further background information on this State Visit and on the history of State Visits undertaken by Governors General is available on this website /gg/rr/sv/index_e.asp or by contacting the Rideau Hall Press Office.

Media information: Geneviève Bouchard or Marilyne Guèvremont
Press Office, Government House
(613) 998-0287 or (613) 993-8157

Stewart Wheeler, Press Secretary to the Governor General
(613) 993-8167, pager: (613) 751-7978

Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Media Relations Office : (613) 995-1874

Updated: 2001-04-10
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