Canada Recognizes Experience of Jewish Refugees

March 26, 2014 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement after the House of Commons concurred with the recommendations in the report by the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development to recognize the experience of Jewish refugees from the Middle East and North Africa:

“I am pleased that the House of Commons agreed with the recommendation of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, which is supported by the Government of Canada, and officially recognizes the experience of Jewish refugees who were displaced from states in the Middle East and North Africa after 1948.

“Fair and equal acknowledgement of all refugee populations arising out of the Arab-Israeli conflict requires the recognition of Jewish refugees. Such recognition does not diminish or compete with the situation of Palestinian refugees.

“The Government of Canada agrees in principle with the committee’s second recommendation, that the experience of Jewish refugees should be taken into consideration as a part of any just and comprehensive peace deal, however, we believe that the peace process as it is currently structured offers the best hope for a positive solution.

“I thank the committee for its efforts and its continuing interest in the issues of human rights and religious freedom in the Middle East and North Africa.

“Canada continues to advocate for a comprehensive, two-state solution reached through a negotiated agreement between the two parties that guarantees Israel’s right to live in peace and security with its neighbours and leads to the establishment of a viable and independent Palestinian state.”

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