The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today met with Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid, Alternate Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Minister Garneau underscored Canada’s unwavering friendship and partnership with Israel, which is based on shared democratic values, a long history of close cooperation and strong people-to-people ties. The Minister congratulated the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister on their successful efforts in forming a new government.
Minister Garneau highlighted the success of the Canada-Israel bilateral relationship and strong collaboration in the areas of trade, science, technology and innovation. Minister Garneau expressed that Canada looks forward to negotiations with Israel to modernize and expand the scope of the Canada-Israel Agreement on Bilateral Cooperation in Industrial Research and Development, and to expand scientific collaboration between Canadian and Israeli researchers.
Minister Garneau reiterated Canada’s support for Israel’s right to live in peace with its neighbours within secure boundaries, as well as its right to self-defence consistent with international law.
He also encouraged steps to stabilize the current fragile ceasefire and expressed Canada’s concerns over the humanitarian situation in Gaza. 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.
The Minister and his interlocutors agreed that positive progress has been achieved through Israel’s historic normalization agreements with its neighbours and committed to continue working together to explore new partnership opportunities, engage on multilateral issues, enhance regional security and advance peace in the Middle East.
Finally, Minister Garneau expressed Canada’s concerns over the disturbing increase of antisemitism and hatred, at home and around the world. He reaffirmed Canada’s efforts to combat antisemitism, including by hosting the emergency National Summit on Antisemitism that Irwin Cotler, Canada’s Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism, will lead this summer. Both countries agreed to continue to work together, with Jewish communities, and with other members of the international community to take concrete steps to combat antisemitism worldwide.