Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in New York on Wednesday and thanked him for his country’s support of Israel.
The two met in the UN after Harper met senior business leaders at the New York Stock Exchange, The Canadian Press reported.
Harper, a longtime supporter of Israel, told journalists before the meeting he was going to talk with Netanyahu about the “terrific” Canada-Israel relationship in areas such as the economy, culture, and “some of the great challenges” now being debated at the UN, referring to the Palestinian Authority’s unilateral statehood bid.
“I would be remiss, without delving too much into what is going on here, to say we all do look forward to the day when the two sides are at the bargaining table and making the tough decisions that are necessary to have two peaceful and secure democratic states,” Harper was quoted by CP as saying.
Netanyahu responded by saying that Israel knows that nobody wants Middle East peace more “than our friends in Canada and our friend, the prime minister.”
He added that Israel and Canada have “the same heart, the same values. And that I say with great appreciation — for your stance, for your conviction, for your friendship.”
Netanyahu said, “I share, too, your desire to resume direct negotiations for peace and get on with it. Because the only way we can finish peace negotiations is by beginning peace negotiations. And I know that we'll have your support in our quest for peace and security.”
On Tuesday before he left for New York, Harper clarified that Canada will staunchly back Israel against the Palestinian Authority’s attempt for unilateral statehood recognition.
“We view this unilateral action on behalf of the Palestinian Authority to be not helpful,” Harper said, adding: “No unilateral actions like this are helpful in terms of establishing a long-run peace in the Middle East. Canada views the action as very regrettable and we will be opposing it at the United Nations.”
Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, John Baird, also stated Canada’s opposition to the unilateral plan.
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