Canadian FM: We will continue to stand by Israel

Monday, October 30, 2006 |  by Staff Writer  

Canadian Foreign Minister Peter McKay spoke at an event in Montreal and said that the Israel-Canada relationship is based on mutual friendship and any threat to the security of Israel is also a threat to the security of Canada.

McKay spoke at a gala event organized to honor the Canadian-Jewish businessman Ralph Ben-Atar and said that the Canadian government is not planning to “sit on the fence” in reference to international issues, and especially for those issues involving the Middle East, even if it involves danger. McKay also said that he sees Canada as an influential leading force in the international scene by “marketing” its credibility and its democratic values.

According to McKay, the policies of Prime Minister Harper are driven by sticking to the values of justice and fairness. He also added that the Israeli-Canadian relationship is based on a mutual friendship and shared values, and that is how it will stay. In international relations, he added, there is a need to be determined and responsible. The message to our friends is that Canada is standing behind its obligations.

McKay also mentioned that the fight against terrorism should not depend on political interests because both Israel and Canada share this common enemy.

McKay also rejected the criticism of Canada’s “deviation from neutrality” when Canada supported Israel during the war. “Israel is a sovereign state which does not need authorization from anyone to exist or to protect its citizens. All we asked is that Israel do everything it can to prevent hurting civilians. There is no room for neutrality here. Things are clear. Hizballah is the one who attacked Israel,” he said.

The Foreign Minister also addressed the Palestinian issue and said that it is the right of the Palestinian people to live peacefully alongside Israel. Canada sees the roadmap as the foundation for resolving the conflict and not any unilateral moves.

“Hamas is a terrorist organization by Canadian law and therefore there is no reason to give it assistance. As long a Hamas does not change, the Canadian policy will not change. Canada is a supporter of democratic moves, but will not accept an elected government who supports terrorism,” he said.

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