From January 12 to 21, 2005, the Speaker of the Senate led a parliamentary delegation composed of Senator Colin Kenny and Senator Terry Stratton to the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and the United Kingdom. The delegation first traveled to the United Arab Emirates from January 13 to16, followed by Bahrain January 16 to 19, and the United Kingdom, January 19 to 20, 2005.
In the United Arab Emirates, the delegation had the honour of being received by His Excellency Mohammed Saeed Al-Kindi, Speaker of the Federal Council, and his sons. Speaker Hays and the delegates also met with His Excellency Sultan Qassim, Director General of the Municipality of Dubai, Mr. Graham Rush, the Canadian Consular in Dubai, and members of the Canadian Business Council. Discussions included Canadian and United Arab Emirates relations, as well as the prestigious Dubai light rail project.
In Bahrain, the delegation was received by the President of the Shura Council, His Excellency Dr. Faisal Radhi Al Mousawi and his colleagues. The delegation met with: the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarek Al-Khalifa; business leaders; Canadians responsible for assisting with the security of Canadians in times of emergencies; and Mr. Qais, Honourary Canadian Consular.
The visits to the two Gulf States allowed the delegation to establish friendships and exchanges with their counterparts and to better understand the Middle East situation.
The delegation concluded its visit in London, United Kingdom, where they met with: Lord Falconer of Thoroton, Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs and Lord Chancellor; Lord Levy, Special Envoy to Prime Minister Blair on the Middle East; Mr. Paul Hayter, Clerk of the House of Lords and of the Parliaments; and Sir Michael Willcocks, Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod. The visit allowed the delegates to discuss reform of the House of Lords and of the judiciary, security of the Palace of Westminster, access to information, and Middle East foreign policy.
The report will be made available upon tabling in the Senate.