Maliki Discusses Bilateral Issues with Canadian Foreign Minister

RAMALLAH, April 6, 2013 (WAFA) – Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki Saturday discussed bilateral issues and regional relations as well as the situation on the ground with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird.

Maliki said during the meeting which took place in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ramallah that there is a desire and will on both sides to improve bilateral relations and for Canada to continue its commitment to Palestinian state building efforts.

He expressed readiness to reengage in negotiations with Israel and said that “we are looking forward to US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit on Sunday to Ramallah, where we are ready to listen to his ideas regarding the possibility of the resumption of negotiations.”

Baird said that Canada believes that Israel and the Palestinian Authority should go back to the negotiating table without preconditions.

“We have some profound differences on the way forward but not on the need to go forward,” he said.

He said in regard to Kerry’s efforts on peace that Canada is very keen to see a successful resolution to all outstanding issues.

Maliki reiterated that disagreeing on some issue does not mean that diplomatic relations between Canada and Palestine cannot be maintained.

Canada took a very strong position against the Palestinian bid to become a non-member observer state at the United Nations in November and Baird was the only foreign minister to fly to New York on the day a vote was made to speak against accepting Palestine as a non-member state.

Canada’s efforts, along with the United States and Israel, failed as the majority of the UN member states voted to accept Palestine as a non-member state.

Source: WAFA News