Canadian MPs discuss progress, challenges & priorities in North Africa
Liberal International, Friday 27 January 2017
A parliamentary delegation from Canada visited Tunisia and Egypt for broad discussions on the prospects for future cooperation. Rob Oliphant, a Liberal Party of Canada (LI full member) Member of Parliament and Chairman of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, recently led an all-party delegation of Canadian parliamentarians to Tunisia and Egypt to assess the emerging democracies and democratic institutions in those two countries 6 years after the Arab Spring revolutions.
In Cairo the delegation had a wide range of meetings, starting with the Egyptian president General Sisi, the Pope of the Coptic Church, the Grand Imam Sheikh al Azhar, the Speaker of the House and Members from the Committee of Foreign Affairs and Committee of African Affairs, as well as various academic and non-governmental institutions.
While in Cairo, Mr. Oliphant had a meeting with Dr. Mahmoud el Alaily, President of Arab Liberal Federation – ALF (LI cooperating organisation) at which they discussed the current affairs in the region. "We face new international circumstances which have effect on Egypt and the Middle East on one hand and effect Canada and the West on the other hand," commented after the meeting Dr Alaily.
Mr. Oliphant and Dr. Alaily also discussed the future of the Liberal movement in Egypt represented mainly by the Free Egyptian Party (FEP). "The Free Egyptians Party is a strong liberal force in Egypt attempting to help Egypt become a liberal democracy," said after the meeting Mr. Oliphant. He continued: "We talked about challenges and exchanged ideas, thoughts and hopes. Liberal International continues to provide us opportunities to foster international relationships in the pursuit of liberal values and goals in countries around the globe."
Joyce Murray, Liberal MP from Vancouver, Parliamentary Secretary for the President of the Treasury Board, was also part of the Canadian parliamentary delegation. Liberal Party of Canada and Free Egyptians Party are full members of Liberal International