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Canadian FM Makes Surprise Visit to Israel, Western Wall

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird made a surprise visit to Israel Monday morning, where he prayed at Western Wall.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 8/14/2012, 3:35 PM

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird
Reuters

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird made a surprise visit to Israel Monday morning, stopping at the Kotel to pray with Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the rabbi of the Western Wall, The Canadian Jewish News (CJN) reported.

Baird had been on a four-day visit to the Middle Eastern, where he met with Jordanian and Lebanese officials to discuss the impact that the Syrian crisis is having on border countries and pledged Canada’s support to assist with the humanitarian crisis.

Barid had not indicated that Israel was on his itinerary prior to leaving Ottawa on Aug. 10 and was scheduled to conclude his visit to the region on Monday.

However, a Monday morning statement from Rabbi Rabinowitz’s office said Baird was in Israel to show support for the Jewish state and to express “his admiration and friendship for the people of Israel and the hope that the friendship with his country would continue and be strengthened.”

Baird was last in Israel in February to attend the Herzliya Conference, a major annual policy conference organized by the Institute for Policy and Strategy of the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya.