Minister of State Kent to Engage Israel on Americas Strategy

(No. 276 - August 31, 2010 - 1:30 p.m. ET) The Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas), today announced that he will visit Israel from August 31 to September 8, 2010, to launch Canada-Israel discussions on the Americas.

“As vibrant democratic states, Canada and Israel are natural allies. This affinity, based on our shared values, such as respect for human rights and the rule of law, extends to our respective engagement in the Americas,” said Minister of State Kent. “I look forward to discussing our shared objectives in the region: security, democracy and prosperity.”

A key policy priority of the Government of Canada, engagement in the Americas is an area of growing international interest to Israel, which holds observer status at the Organization of American States. Canada, through its embassies in Havana and Caracas, represents Israel’s consular interests in Cuba and diplomatic interests in Venezuela.

During his visit, Minister of State Kent will meet with President Shimon Peres, Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Lieberman and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Daniel Ayalon. He will also tour such sites as the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) and the Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum.

Minister of State Kent will also visit the West Bank, where he will meet Riad Malki, the Palestinian Authority’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. Canada is implementing a five-year, $300 million package of assistance to the Palestinian Authority, focusing on support in the areas of security and justice.

“The Government of Canada supports the creation of an independent Palestinian state as part of a negotiated two-state solution with Israel, and we support Israel’s right to live in peace with its neighbours within secure boundaries,” said Minister of State Kent.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Meredith McDonald
Senior Communications Adviser
Office of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)
613-944-7013

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