Baird Calls on Israelis and Palestinians to Recommit Themselves to Kerry Peace Initiative

April 3, 2014 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement:

"In light of recent reports that the Palestinian Authority has taken unilateral steps in seeking further international recognition, I feel compelled to express my serious concern and opposition to this development.

"Canada urges both the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government to recommit themselves to the negotiations and to refrain from taking unilateral actions that risk derailing the talks.

"American leadership, and the concerted efforts by Secretary of State John Kerry to mediate an agreement between Israelis and Palestinians, presents the best opportunity toward achieving a just and lasting peace.

"There is no doubt that the two parties to these negotiations will have to make serious and difficult compromises to move the process forward at this critical juncture. It would be a tragedy to miss this historic opportunity.

"Canada believes strongly in a two-state solution, one that sees a future Palestinian state and a Jewish state living side by side in peace and security. We call on both parties to redouble their efforts in achieving this end and the many beneficial opportunities that can follow."

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
Follow us on Twitter: @DFATDCanada