Lieberman Thanks Canada PM for Objection to 1967 Borders at G8

The foreign minister tells Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper 'Canada is a true friend of Israel,' after Harper insisted that no mention of Israel's pre-1967 borders be made in the leaders' final communiqué.

Haaretz Service
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Haaretz Service

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Friday to thank him for objecting to a specific mention of 1967 borders in a statement on the Middle East released by leaders of the Group of Eight.

Diplomats involved in Middle East discussions at the G8 summit on Friday said Canada had insisted that no mention of Israel's pre-1967 borders be made in the leaders' final communiqué, even though most of the other leaders wanted a mention.

"Canada is true friend of Israel," Lieberman said, adding that they "understand that the 1967 lines are inconsistent with Israel's security needs."

Lieberman and Harper also spoke about taking a stand against Hamas integration into a newly unified Palestinian government. The foreign minister also invited Harper to visit Israel.

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper makes statements during a closing news briefing at the G8 summit in Deauville, northern France May 27, 2011.Credit: Reuters

In the final communiqué of the G8, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters, the leaders call for the immediate resumption of peace talks but do not mention 1967, the year Israel seized the West Bank and Gaza from Jordan and Egypt during the Six-Day War.

"Negotiations are the only way toward a comprehensive and lasting resolution to the conflict," the communiqué said.

"The framework for these negotiations is well known. We urge both parties to return to substantive talks with a view to concluding a framework agreement on all final status issues.

"To that effect, we express our strong support for the vision of Israeli-Palestinian peace outlined by President Obama on May 19, 2011."

Canada's strong backing for Israel was cited by diplomats last year as one reason why Canada failed to win a rotating two-year seat on the United Nations Security Council.

Harper has made is position on Israel very clear, saying last year: "When Israel, the only country in the world whose very existence is under attack, is consistently and conspicuously singled out for condemnation, I believe we are morally obligated to take a stand."

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