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'In foreign policy you have to stick by your friends'

In an interview for the Wall Street Journal last week, Stephen Harper set out the essence of his minority government's foreign policy.  It was in the context of political opposition within the USA and Canada to a free trade agreement with Colombia:

"I'm not going to say it's a perfect government, but we have a government in Colombia that is democratically elected, that has increased democratic norms, that has taken on the insurgency, that is moving that country forward economically and politically. And it is in a hemisphere where we have an increasing number of real serious enemies and opponents... If you don't support your friends you . . . are . . . not . . . going to have many friends."

In the interview - which focused on Afghanistan - Mr Harper warned that NATO was being tested by its commitment to defeat the Taliban.  He also warned against protectionism.  Protectionism, he warns, "will without a doubt make this recession far deeper and far longer than it would be otherwise."


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