Nipissing-Timiskaming MP Anthony Rota
Nipissing-Timiskaming MP Anthony Rota returned to North Bay on Wednesday following a visit to Afghanistan. Mr. Rota was part of an all-party delegation, including Members of the Standing Committee on National Defence, which spent time in Kabul and Kandahar. According to Mr. Rota, “The purpose of this visit was to meet with Canadian military personnel to evaluate their living and working conditions, and to find out from them what we as elected officials can do to lend assistance to the re-building effort in Afghanistan.”
This visit to Afghanistan marked the second time that Mr. Rota has toured the war-torn nation since he was first elected in 2004, and he says that the progress that has been made by Canadian and Allied troops during that time is substantial.
“Civilian and military partners from both Canada and Afghanistan have forged an excellent working relationship, and they are achieving remarkable results by coordinating their development efforts.”
In addition to meeting with Canadian soldiers serving in Afghanistan, Mr. Rota also met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, as well as several foreign diplomats currently stationed in Kabul. Another highlight of Mr. Rota’s time in Afghanistan was a meeting with members of the Afghanistan Regional Council who took this opportunity to express their heartfelt gratitude for the assistance that Canada has provided to them.
Mr. Rota believes that training an indigenous police force is a crucial step towards ensuring the safety and freedom of the Afghan people. “The Canadian military mission involves training Afghan police officers so that they can control their own destinies. This collaborative approach is having a very positive effect overall.”
“The Afghan people are resilient and eager to continue on their road to development,” says Mr. Rota. “They expressed the need for sustained assistance from Canada in order to achieve long-lasting peace and stability in their country; however, they also made it very clear that they want to be active participants in charting that future.”