Minister Garneau concludes official visit with the Government of Israel

News release

July 4, 2021 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

Today, the Honorable Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs, concluded an official visit with the new Government of Israel. He met with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett; Alternate Prime Minister & Foreign Affairs Minister Yair Lapid; and Innovation, Science and Technology Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen. He also spoke with President-elect Isaac Herzog.

During these meetings, Minister Garneau highlighted the long history of cooperation between Canada and Israel and underscored Canada’s commitment to continue strengthening the bilateral relationship and advance shared priorities through trade; collaboration on science, technology, innovation and education; combatting antisemitism; and preserving holocaust remembrance.

Minister Garneau announced Canada’s intention to deepen already strong cooperation in science, research and innovation by tripling its annual contribution to the Canada-Israel Agreement on Bilateral Cooperation in Industrial Research and Development to $3 million per year. In his meeting with Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology Orit Farkash-Hacohen, both ministers agreed to launch negotiations to modernize and expand the scope of the agreement and to establish a new mechanism to lead and promote their R&D collaboration, as well as expand scientific collaboration between Canadian and Israeli researchers.

During his visit, Minister Garneau reaffirmed Canada’s support for Israel’s right to live in peace with its neighbours within secure boundaries, and expressed full support for Israel’s right to defend itself, consistent with international law. He restated Canada’s long-standing position and concerns that the continued expansion of settlements, demolitions and evictions constitute a serious obstacle to achieving peace and called on Israel to cease such activities.  He reiterated Canada’s strong commitment to playing a constructive role toward a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East underpinned by a two-state solution that allows the Israeli and Palestinian peoples to live side-by-side in peace and security.

Minister Garneau announced that the Government of Canada will be providing $700,000 to Siach Shalom (Talking Peace), a project supported by Mishkenot Sha’ananim. This funding will support Israeli and Palestinian dialogue, facilitate discussions between both peoples, and increase the inclusion of religious communities and women’s participation in peacebuilding efforts.

Minister Garneau also visited the Hand in Hand Center for Jewish-Arab Education school in Jerusalem, part of a network of Jewish-Arab integrated bilingual schools.  The Minister met with leaders of various organizations to discuss their work in creating bridges between communities to combat xenophobia, racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia, and create a strong and inclusive society.

Finally, Minister Garneau, together with Irwin Cotler, Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism, visited Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center. The Minister took part in a wreath laying ceremony to honour the memory of the victims and pay tribute to survivors. He reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to advancing Holocaust education, remembrance and research, to combat antisemitism, and protect human rights, at home and abroad. To this effect, Minister Garneau and his Israeli counterpart agreed to continue to partner, with Jewish communities and other international partners, to combat antisemitism worldwide.

Quotes

“Canada reaffirms its unwavering support and friendship to the Israeli people and we remain steadfast in our commitment to play a constructive role in supporting a two-state solution and advancing sustainable peace and security for both Israelis and Palestinians. We will continue to engage with all sides to advance efforts towards peace.”

- Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

  • Later this summer, Canada will be hosting the emergency National Summit on Antisemitism, led by Special Envoy Cotler.

  • The modernized Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement, which entered into force in September 2019, includes new, progressive elements on gender, small and medium-sized enterprises, and the environment.

  • Canada is home to the fourth-largest Jewish diaspora in the world.

Associated links

Contacts

Syrine Khoury
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Syrine.Khoury@international.gc.ca

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Global Affairs Canada
343-203-7700
media@international.gc.ca
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