Canada takes pro-Israeli stand at G8 summit

 @ibtimes on May 27 2011 9:40 AM

G8 Summit gives in to Canada's stand against mentioning a specific stand of the 1967 borders at which called for re-commencement of Israel-Palestinian peace talks on Friday.

Group of eight leaders (G8) had to change the statement which urged Israelis and the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table.

Canada's right wing Conservative government adopted a pro-Israel position in the international negotiations since coming to power in 2006.

Diplomats who were involved in Middle East discussions at the G8 summit said, Canada was insistent that there should not be a mention of Israel's pre-1967 borders in the communication even though most of the other country leaders wanted to talk about the subject.

The Canadians were really very adamant, even though Obama expressly referred to 1967 borders in his speech last week, a European diplomat said, reported Reuters.

A spokesperson for Prime Minister Stephen Harper said there would be no comment on the line Canada had taken, saying only that the final communication will only make the positions clear.

In the final communication, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters, the leaders called for the immediate resumption of peace talks without mentioning the 1967 borders issue.

In the year 1967 Israel seized control of the West Bank and Gaza from Jordan and Egypt after the Six-Day War.

Negotiations are the only way toward a comprehensive and lasting resolution to the conflict, the spokesperson 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.

In his speech last week, Obama said the pre-1967 borders should be the basis of the peace talks although he acknowledged that any agreement would involve land swaps.

The statement was immediately refuted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said Israel would be “indefensible” if it returned entirely to the borders that existed before 1967.

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, Harper had said earlier.

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