Photo Credit: Avi Ohayon/MFA
FM Yair Lapid (R) and Canadian FM Marc Garneau.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid hosted his Canadian counterpart Marc Garneau in Jerusalem on Sunday who was in the Jewish state for an official visit with the Government of Israel and community leaders.

During the meeting, Lapid thanked Canada for its support of Israel during Operation Guardian of the Walls against Hamas, including Canada’s placing the onus for the 11 days of warfare on Hamas, and support for Israel’s right to security.

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Lapid noted in this context the importance that Israel sees in the fact that Canadian funds, which are transferred to humanitarian needs to assist the Palestinian Authority Arabs, will “reach their destination and not the terrorist organizations.”

Canada has previously withheld aid from the Palestinian Authority following its conduct of paying stipends to terrorists and their families.

Lapid further thanked Garneau for adopting the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism and welcomed the appointment of former Justice Minister Irwin Cotler as a coordinator for the fight against anti-Semitism in the country.

Later this summer, Canada will be hosting the emergency National Summit on Antisemitism, led by Special Envoy Cotler.

The two top diplomats also discussed further cooperation between Israel and Canada on science, technology, space, and economic issues, as well as on various regional issues.

Garneau also met with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Innovation, Science and Technology Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen. He also spoke with President-elect Isaac Herzog.

During these meetings, Garneau highlighted the “long history of cooperation between Canada and Israel” and underscored Canada’s commitment to continue strengthening the bilateral relationship and “advance shared priorities through trade; collaboration on science, technology, innovation and education; combatting anti-Semitism; and preserving Holocaust remembrance.”

He announced Canada’s intention to deepen already strong cooperation in science, research and innovation by tripling its annual contribution to the Canada-Israel Agreement on Bilateral Cooperation in Industrial Research and Development to $3 million per year.

In his meeting with Farkash-Hacohen, both ministers agreed to launch negotiations to modernize and expand the scope of the agreement and to establish a new mechanism to lead and promote their R&D collaboration, as well as expand scientific collaboration between Canadian and Israeli researchers.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.