Minister Champagne travels to Lebanon and Europe

News release

August 22, 2020 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

On his first overseas trip since the Covid-19 pandemic began, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs, will travel to Beirut, Lebanon, later this week and make stops in Switzerland, Italy and the United Kingdom.

While in Beirut, the Minister will witness first-hand the devastation on the ground and meet with Michel Aoun, Lebanon’s president, and Charbel Wehbe, Lebanon’s foreign minister. Minister Champagne will also meet with Lebanese, Canadian and international humanitarian partners to witness the work of first responders and express Canada’s solidarity with the Lebanese people following this month’s tragedy. The Minister will take this opportunity to highlight Canada’s ongoing support for the international response to the crisis in Lebanon, including institutional reforms demanded by the Lebanese people.

In Switzerland, Minister Champagne will visit Bern and Geneva to meet with Minister Ignazio Cassis, head of Switzerland’s Department of Foreign Affairs, as well as Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General of the World Trade Organization, and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization. He will also meet with Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and with Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

In Italy, the Minister will meet with Luigi Di Maio, Italy’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. 

Lastly, the Minister will travel to the United Kingdom to meet with Dominic Raab, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and First Secretary of State.

Minister Champagne will follow all applicable health and safety protocols, including public health advice measures, and will quarantine for 14 days upon his return to Canada.


“As we enter the recovery phase of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever for Canada to strengthen relations with like-minded partners and multilateral organizations. The recent explosion in Beirut illustrates how Covid-19 further complicates such tragic events, which primarily affect the world’s most vulnerable populations. The international community must be united in its response to the pandemic so that together we can promote peace, democracy, security and economic prosperity for all.”

- François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

  • Canada is providing a total of $30 million in humanitarian and early recovery assistance following the explosion at the Port of Beirut.

  • Through the Lebanon Matching Fund, for every eligible dollar donated to the Humanitarian Coalition and its members between August 4 and 24, 2020, Canada will provide the equivalent to the Humanitarian Coalition, up to a maximum total amount of $8 million.

  • Through its Middle East engagement strategy, Canada is also providing more than $47 million in humanitarian assistance for crisis-affected populations in Lebanon in 2020. This assistance includes, among other things, support for access to basic health services and the supply of medical assistance.

  • Canada is aggressively pursuing the purchase and development of Covid-19 vaccines, treatments and related supplies, which includes engagement with international partners, businesses and manufacturers.

Associated links


Syrine Khoury
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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