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Canada’s foreign minister stresses strong support for Israel

JTA

January 31, 2012 | 10:47 am

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird speaks during the annual 'Herzliya Conference' in the central Israeli city of Herzliya, near Tel Aviv, on Jan. 30. Photo by REUTERS/Nir Elias

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird speaks during the annual 'Herzliya Conference' in the central Israeli city of Herzliya, near Tel Aviv, on Jan. 30. Photo by REUTERS/Nir Elias

The foreign minister of Canada emphasized his country’s staunch support of Israel.

“Israel has no greater friend in the world than Canada,” John Baird said Monday at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum.

Baird, on his third visit to Israel, also said that “Canada does not stand behind Israel; Canada stands shoulder to shoulder with Israel.” He repeated the sentiments later in the day at a meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres.

Baird and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty are scheduled to spend several days meeting with their counterparts in Israel and with leaders of the Palestinian Authority.

At the 12th annual Herzliya Conference Monday night, Baird called the delegitimization and demonization of Israel the “new anti-Semitism.” He also voiced Canada’s support for a two-state solution for peace between Israel and the Palestinians,

The Canadian delegation was accompanied by Rabbi Chaim Mendelsohn, director of public affairs for the Canadian Federation of Chabad Lubavitch. With the rabbi, the group was scheduled to visit Chabad-Lubavitch institutions and meet Chabad officials in Israel.

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