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Harper announces trip to Middle East

PM Stephen Harper.

PM Stephen Harper.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper attended the 2013 Negev Dinner in Toronto yesterday, where he announced that he will visit Israel, Jordan and the West Bank early next year.

This visit will mark the Prime Minister’s first official visit to the Middle East. “Canada recognizes the importance of building inclusive and stable societies, underpinned by democracy, freedom, human rights and the rule of law,” said the Prime Minister. “Our government will continue to take a strong, principled stand internationally, including at the United Nations, on all matters related to Israel and the Middle East. I look forward to visiting the Middle East early next year to explore ways of strengthening peace and security, stimulating sustainable economic growth, and promoting essential Canadian values, such as tolerance and human rights, across the region.”

Harper also reaffirmed his government’s support for Israel’s right to exist in peace and security, as well as the close and long-standing relationship that exists between both countries. During the dinner, the PM was honoured by the Jewish National Fund of Toronto for his contribution in the international fight against anti-Semitism, raising awareness of the Holocaust and for being a steadfast supporter of Israel and the Jewish people.

The “Negev Dinner”, which is sponsored by the Jewish National Fund of Toronto, provides a forum for honouring community leaders and those who have been outstanding supporters of Israel. Proceeds from the 2013 Negev Campaign will support the building of the Stephen J. Harper Hula Valley Bird Sanctuary Visitor and Education Centre in Israel.