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Canadian state was mum on embassy’s closure

NEWLY-RELEASED documents show that Canadian foreign affairs officials were instructed not to announce the closure of the country’s embassies in Cambodia, Bosnia and Malawi in 2009, according to a report in the Toronto Sun newspaper. While officials condoned the distribution of the news within Cambodia, they opted not to publicise the Cambodian embassy closure to Canadian citizens, citing fears that local reporters would turn to “pundits” such as former Canadian ambassadors and parliamentarians “to validate their arguments” about the government’s foreign policy. “[Non-governmental organisations] and think-tanks will speak out about closures that affect their agendas,” reads an internal Ministry of Foreign Affairs memo dated March 2009. “Critics will position closures as contrary to the government’s stated commitment to re-asserting Canadian leadership internationally.”

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