January 20th, 2014

Statement from NDP Foreign Affairs critic Paul Dewar on the Prime Minister’s trip to the Middle East

NDP Foreign Affairs Critic Paul Dewar made the following statement today about the Prime Minister’s trip to the Middle East:

The Prime Minister’s visit to the Middle East is an opportunity for the Canadian government to show statesmanship and leadership on some of the most pressing issues facing the region. A balanced position would allow Canada to play a key role in helping foster a lasting and secure peace.

Canada’s strong relationship with Israel can enable the Prime Minister to have considerable influence as he makes his first trip to the region and meets with officials and legislators. The Prime Minister must exercise this influence responsibly and effectively. Canada can and should help move peace talks forward. The Prime Minister must make clear that he stands by the full extent of Canadian policy on issues related to the conflict, including the longstanding position of the Canadian government and our allies that the construction of further settlements is contrary to international law and an impediment to peace.

The Prime Minister should also back his words of support for the ongoing negotiations with Iran with concrete Canadian actions to help ensure the interim nuclear deal can be turned into a comprehensive agreement that achieves greater security for our allies in the region, and brings the world closer to nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.

I was pleased to see today’s announcement of additional assistance to the Palestinian Authority. Unfortunately, the level of Canadian aid is still much lower than in past years. Clear and consistent support is needed, particularly for health, education, and sustainable economic development.

As the Prime Minister represents our country in the Middle East, I hope that he will present a responsible policy focused on achieving real results for Canada and the region.