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February 14, 2006
Canada Talks Tough To Palestinians

Stephen Harper has already made an impact early in his term as Prime Minister on foreign affairs. Distancing himself from Europe in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Harper steered Canada towards the American position on further engagement with the PA:

Future Canadian aid to the Palestinian government will depend on its support for three key benchmarks, says Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The government of President Mahmoud Abbas must renounce violence, recognize Israel and accept previous Israeli-Palestinian peace agreements, Harper told the Palestinian leader Tuesday during a telephone conversation.

“Future assistance to any new Palestinian government will be reviewed against that government's commitment to the principles of non-violence, recognition of Israel and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations,” Mr. Harper said in a statement released after the phone call.

This common-sense position should surprise no one; as the Canada Press article notes, it follows the same line as the UN Security Council did in its demand to Hamas. However, after Russia's invitation to Hamas for diplomatic exchanges and France's endorsement of their overture, it appears that even the UNSC members cannot abide by those guidelines. It's refreshing to see Canada stand up against terrorism and hold to a tough line with the incoming Palestinian government. After a long interlude where Canadian and American approaches have diverged, this common line promises a new period of partnership.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at February 14, 2006 9:19 PM

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