Canada News: Minister Concludes Visit with Israel

Minister Garneau concludes official visit with the Government of Israel

Ottawa, Ontario (Global Affairs Canada)(STL.News) The Global Affairs Office for Canada released the following statement yesterday, July 4, 2021:

Today, the Honorable Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs, concluded an official visit with the new Government of Israel.  He met with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett; Alternate Prime Minister & Foreign Affairs Minister Yair Lapid, and Innovation, Science, and Technology Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen.  He also spoke with President-elect Isaac Herzog.

During these meetings, Minister Garneau highlighted the long history of cooperation between Canada and Israel and underscored Canada’s commitment to continue strengthening the bilateral relationship and advance shared priorities through trade; collaboration on science, technology, innovation, and education; combatting antisemitism; and preserving holocaust remembrance.

Minister Garneau announced Canada’s intention to deepen already strong cooperation in science, research, and innovation by tripling its annual contribution to the Canada-Israel Agreement on Bilateral Cooperation in Industrial Research and Development to $3 million per year. In addition, in his meeting with Minister of Innovation, Science, and Technology Orit Farkash-Hacohen, both ministers agreed to launch negotiations to modernize and expand the scope of the agreement and to establish a new mechanism to lead and promote their R&D collaboration, as well as expand scientific collaboration between Canadian and Israeli researchers.

During his visit, Minister Garneau reaffirmed Canada’s support for Israel’s right to live in peace with its neighbors within secure boundaries and expressed full support for Israel’s right to defend itself, consistent with international law.  He restated Canada’s long-standing position and concerns that the continued expansion of settlements, demolitions, and evictions constitute a serious obstacle to achieving peace and called on Israel to cease such activities.  He reiterated Canada’s strong commitment to playing a constructive role toward a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in the Middle East underpinned by a two-state solution that allows the Israeli and Palestinian peoples to live side-by-side in peace and security.

Minister Garneau announced that the Government of Canada would be providing $700,000 to Siach Shalom (Talking Peace), a project supported by Mishkenot Sha’ananim.  This funding will support Israeli and Palestinian dialogue, facilitate discussions between both peoples, and increase the inclusion of religious communities and women’s participation in peacebuilding efforts.

Minister Garneau also visited the Hand in Hand Center for Jewish-Arab Education school in Jerusalem, part of a network of Jewish-Arab integrated bilingual schools.  The Minister met with leaders of various organizations to discuss their work in creating bridges between communities to combat xenophobia, racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia and create a strong and inclusive society.

Finally, Minister Garneau, together with Irwin Cotler, Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism, visited Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center.  The Minister took part in a wreath-laying ceremony to honor the memory of the victims and pay tribute to survivors.  He reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to advancing Holocaust education, remembrance, and research to combat antisemitism and protect human rights at home and abroad.  To this effect, Minister Garneau and his Israeli counterpart agreed to continue to partner with Jewish communities and other international partners to combat antisemitism worldwide.

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