Canadian PM pledges $66 million in new support for the Palestinians.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during the welcome ceremony in the West Bank city of Ramallah, January 20, 2014 (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90/Times of Israel)

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during the welcome ceremony in the West Bank city of Ramallah, January 20, 2014 (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90/Times of Israel)

Fortunately, Canadian Prime Minister Harper’s support for Israel does not diminish his and Canada’s deep respect and support for the Palestinian people.

“Canada will provide $66 million in economic aid to the Palestinians, in order to help foster ‘peace and stability’ in the region, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Monday,” reports the Times of Israel. “The announcement came hours before Harper was scheduled to speak in front of the Israeli Knesset, in an address widely expected to be supportive of Israeli government positions.”

Excerpts:

  • Speaking during a visit to the West Bank Palestinian city of Ramallah, Harper stressed that his country strongly supports the establishment of a future Palestinian state, and said the aid provided by Canada would assist in creating a more secure and just Palestinian society.
  • “Canada looks forward to a bright future for all Palestinians, one in which security and prosperity are enjoyed in a viable and democratic Palestinian state,” Harper said after a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
  • “The support we are providing today will advance those goals by furthering the peace process, generating jobs and economic growth through private sector partnerships, and helping to further advance security and justice sector reforms.”
  • The aid announced by Harper in Ramallah, as well as an additional $30 million allocated for the West Bank and Gaza last year, will be provided to the Palestinians over a three- to five-year period, the Vancouver Sun reported.
  • Since the Oslo peace accords were signed in 1993, Canada provided more than $650 million in assistance to the Palestinian Authority. Close to half of the said funds were transferred over the past five years.
  • Under Harper, Canada has been seen as one of Israel’s staunchest allies, backing the Jewish state at the United Nations and working to isolate Iran. But in Ramallah, Harper insisted that his government did not intentionally favor Israel, and said his country’s policy was free of outside influence.
  • “Canada is a strong supporter of the peace process,” Harper said.
  • “Our position is not an Israeli position or a Palestinian position; it is a Canadian position of principle supported by the overwhelming majority of Canadians. While Canada has its views, a settlement ultimately has to be decided through negotiations between the two parties.”
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