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1967 lines reference pulled from G8 statement at Canada’s request

JTA

May 27, 2011 | 8:03 am

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

A reference to the 1967 lines as the basis for a future border was reportedly removed at Canada’s request from a G8 summit statement calling for renewed Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

Reuters cited unnamed diplomatic sources who said that the language was stricken at Canada’s insistence. The G8 summit, which is taking place this year in Deauville, France, brings together leaders of eight of the world’s leading economic powers.

“The Canadians were really very adamant, even though Obama expressly referred to 1967 borders in his speech last week,” a European diplomat told Reuters.

In his May 19 Middle East policy speech, President Obama called for the 1967 lines with mutually agreed land swaps to be the basis for a future border between Israel and a Palestinian state. This formulation drew objections from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called the 1967 lines “indefensible”  for Israel.

Obama’s call has been praised by some of the leaders of G8 member states, including British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Canada’s leader, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, is known for his strongly pro-Israel views.

Reuters obtained a copy of the final G8 statement, which expresses “strong support for the vision of Israeli-Palestinian peace outlined by President Obama.”

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