January 18, 2009
No. 13

Canada Welcomes Announcements of a Ceasefire in Gaza

The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement welcoming the announcements of a ceasefire in Gaza:

"Canada welcomes Israel's decision to implement a unilateral ceasefire in Gaza. This announcement by Israel is an important and positive step.

"Canada notes that Hamas has also indicated its willingness to implement a ceasefire. This too is a welcome development, as it has always been Canada's position that Hamas and others who continue to fire rockets on Israel must stop immediately. Their aggression against innocent civilians does nothing to advance the interests of Palestinians. What is needed is a complete ceasefire by all parties that is sustainable and durable as called for in UN Security Council Resolution 1860.

"Canada stands ready to work with the international community to quickly and effectively help the people of Gaza rebuild their lives. We will also work with our international partners to prevent the continued smuggling of weapons into Gaza.

"Canada reiterates its gratitude to Egypt and other key regional states for their efforts in working toward a resolution of this current crisis. Canada believes that peace in the Middle East is an attainable objective. Canada calls on the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to redouble their efforts to reach a comprehensive agreement that will see two states-Israel and Palestine-living in peace and security."

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For more information, please contact:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874