Minister Cannon Concludes Visit to Jordan and Israel

(No. 53 - March 1, 2009) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today wrapped up meetings in Jordan and Israel, where he met with regional leaders and foreign ministers.

In a meeting with Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh on February 28, Minister Cannon acknowledged the major efforts moderate Arab states have made to bring peace to the region.

"Jordan is a valued partner for Canada from both a political and a commercial perspective, and the pace of our cooperation continues to grow," said Minister Cannon. "Most recently this was demonstrated in a nuclear cooperation agreement, which represents an important opportunity for Canada's nuclear industry, while helping Jordan meet its long-term energy requirements." The Canada-Jordan nuclear cooperation agreement was signed on February 17.

Minister Cannon also met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and conveyed Canada's continued full backing for his leadership. He encouraged President Abbas to renew peace efforts with Israel and reaffirmed Canada's unwavering support.

In Israel, Minister Cannon had meetings with Tzipi Livni, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ehud Olmert, Prime Minister and Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister-designate, and encouraged the continuation of peace talks with the Palestinians while reaffirming Canada's support and firm belief in Israel's right to self defence. He discussed key cooperation initiatives in the areas of trade, academic exchange and security. He also noted that Canada and Israel are marking 60 years of diplomatic relations this year.

"Canada-Israel relations are strong and are founded on our support for Israel since its creation in 1948 and on our shared values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law," said Minister Cannon. "Ours is a multi-dimensional relationship marked by close political economic, social and cultural ties."

Tomorrow, Minister Cannon will travel to Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, to participate in an international conference on support for the economy and reconstruction of Gaza.

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For further information, media representatives may 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