AA / Montreal / Hatem Katto
Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau reiterated his “strong support for the Palestinian people” and reaffirmed “Canada’s long-standing commitment to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.”
Marc Garneau was speaking in a statement on Monday after an official visit to the West Bank, during which he met Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh and his Palestinian counterpart, Riyad al-Maliki.
The Minister noted that Canada “recognizes the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and continues to work and engage diplomatically with its regional partners and the international community in order to support efforts to achieve sustainable peace and security, provide humanitarian assistance and advance human rights and gender equality.”
On the other hand, Garneau insisted on expressing “Canada’s disappointment with the decision to postpone the Palestinian elections,” while “urging (Palestinian) officials to organize them as soon as possible.”
The Canadian minister also referred to Canada’s assistance to “the most vulnerable Palestinians and the significant participation of women and youth in peace and security efforts.”
In this context, he announced a commitment of up to $2 million to support women in peacebuilding and women-led civil society organizations working in conflict prevention, as well as up to $1 million to support initiatives that promote democratic practices and encourage the participation of women and youth in decision-making processes. .
“These funds are derived from the $25 million announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in May to support Palestinian civilians,” the statement explained.
This came in the wake of the brutal raids launched by the Israeli army on Palestinian civilians in clashes between Israel and the resistance movement Hamas, among others.
As part of his visit, Garneau went to “Techno Park” at Birzeit University to see, the press release continued, “The benefits of a $9 million Canadian investment in an income generation project for women and youth, by Cowater International, established to improve economic opportunities for entrepreneurs and increase Low-income women and youth thrive in the West Bank.
It should be noted that during his meeting with his Palestinian counterpart Riyad al-Maliki, the Canadian minister affirmed “Canada’s firm position and fears that the continuation of settlement expansion, demolitions and evictions constitutes a serious obstacle to achieving peace, and that these activities must stop.”
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