Baird to travel to Israel and West Bank

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird speaks emphatically about Canada’s unwavering support for Israel during its conflict with Hamas terrorists in Gaza. (Photo: Michael Regenstreif)

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird speaks emphatically about Canada’s unwavering support for Israel during its conflict with Hamas terrorists in Gaza, July 16. (Photo: Michael Regenstreif)

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today announced that he will travel to Israel and the West Bank, where he will meet with senior government officials in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Ramallah. He will be there from tomorrow (Friday) until Tuesday.

This visit comes one year after Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to Israel and provides an opportunity to reaffirm Canada and Israel’s mutual commitment to the Strategic Partnership.

“Canada deeply values its close ties with Israel and looks forward to continuing to strengthen our partnership on security, diplomacy and trade,” said Baird. “Our friendship is based on shared values, and we are ambitious about what more can be achieved together.”

In Israel, Baird will meet with a number of senior political figures, including President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman and former foreign affairs and justice minister Tzipi Livni.

While in the West Bank, Baird will meet with the Palestinian Authority’s Foreign Affairs Minister Riad Malki and other prominent Palestinians, including former prime minister Salam Fayyad and a number of business leaders.

“Canada believes strongly in a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and that negotiations provide the only viable path to lasting peace,” said Baird. “It is important that we create an environment that enables the private sector to develop key economic areas and create sustainable jobs that will form the foundation for economic growth.”

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