Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that he will be visiting Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan from January 18 to 25, 2014. During his first official visit to the Middle East, the Prime Minister will meet with political and business leaders as well as various community and business stakeholders, with a view to promoting commercial relations, advancing peace and security, and reinforcing the principles of democracy and good governance in the region.
While in Israel from January 19-22, Prime Minister Harper will meet with Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the State of Israel, and Shimon Peres, President of the State of Israel, to discuss ways to increase trade and further strengthen the significant bilateral relations that already exists between the two countries, including in the areas of science and technology. The leaders will also discuss the Middle East Peace Process and regional security, including the persistent threat posed by the regime in Iran and the instability in Syria.
The Prime Minister will also travel to the West Bank on January 20 to meet with Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority. Canada supports the Palestinian Authority’s efforts to build the institutions and infrastructure necessary for a viable Palestinian state established through a negotiated agreement with the Jewish State of Israel.
Finally, Prime Minister Harper will travel to Jordan from January 22-25, where he will meet with His Majesty King Abdullah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Abdullah Ensour, Prime Minister of the HashemiteKingdom of Jordan. Jordan is a strong and reliable partner for Canada in the Middle East. The Prime Minister’s visit to Jordan will provide an opportunity to deepen the overall bilateral relationship and recognize Jordanians for the generosity and compassion they have shown in welcoming refugees from Syria into their country. Our Government appreciates Jordan’s leadership in the pursuit of peace and security in the Middle East and their efforts to bring about an end to the conflict.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to the Middle East is the first by a sitting Canadian Prime Minister in more than a decade.
The visit was first announced on December 1, 2013, during the 2013 Negev Dinner in Toronto.
The Prime Minister will be accompanied by a substantial delegation in keeping with the importance of this trip, including: John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism; Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie; James Moore, Minister of Industry; Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade; and Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources.
“Canada has strong people-to-people ties and growing commercial relations with the Middle East and strongly supports a just and lasting peace in the region, which would greatly benefit Israelis and Palestinians alike. I look forward to exploring ways of increasing economic cooperation with our partners while promoting the fundamental Canadian values of democracy, freedom, good governance and respect for the rule of law that are the foundations for peace.” - Prime Minister Stephen Harper