An Indonesian Muslim protester throws a Molotov cocktail towards the police during a protest in front of the US embassy in Jakarta September 17, 2012.
OTTAWA - The decision to reopen two Canadian embassies after their temporary closure over violent anti-Western protests was made without beefing up security measures at foreign missions in Libya and Egypt.
Citing security concerns for personnel in Canadian embassies in Cairo, Egypt, Triploi, Libya, and Khartoum,
Sudan, the government Sunday announced the temporary closures of those missions.
Embassies in Egypt and Libya were reopened Monday, though the government said continued safety concerns were keeping the Khartoum mission shut down.
"We did not big up security (at those embassies)," Conservative MP and parliamentary secretary of foreign affairs Deepak Obhrai told QMI Agency. "It's the situation on the ground that's different. We assess the situation from the ground and we act accordingly... You know the situation in the Middle East is particularly fluid; things can change by the hour.'
Political observers have noted that with the Harper government aligning itself with Israel, it could make Canada's foreign missions more vulnerable to attacks.
"Canada has not been targeted generally, we're always a middle power," James Bissett, retired ambassador to Yugoslavia, said. "But there's always a danger of (being targeted), especially as we're now seen as pro-Israel."
Obhrai dismissed those criticisms, saying, "We are aligning with what we believe is the right policy," adding that Canada has given money to the Palestinian Liberation Organization "so they can make a state."
The government has pledged $450 million for increasing security at foreign missions over the next seven years.
"We will take the appropriate security measures to ensure our diplomats and their families abroad are safe," Foreign Affairs press secretary Rick Roth told QMI Agency. "We don't comment publicly on security precaution specifics at our missions."