Mr. Pierre Poilievre (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, it is my view that whatever the outcome of this process set in motion, we must consistently call upon the Egyptian government to continue to recognize the state of Israel, to honour past peace agreements, and to respect religious minorities, including Coptic Christians who have been mercilessly persecuted by extremists in that country.
I wonder if the minister would join with me in affirming that Canada would call upon Egypt to continue to recognize Israel regardless of the outcome of the political changes under way right now, and to honour previously signed agreements for peace and to protect the rights and safety of religious minorities, including Coptic Christians.
[Table of Contents]
Hon. Lawrence Cannon:
Mr. Speaker, my colleague is absolutely right. We are very supportive. My colleague, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, as a matter of fact, was very supportive of the Coptic Christian community when that terrible explosion took place a couple of weeks ago.
In terms of stability in the region, it is incumbent and extremely important, and that is why in the few moments I had to speak in the House I insisted, first, that there be respect for liberty, democracy and human rights, but at the same time that the new government must recognize the state of Israel. The peace agreements already in existence must also be recognized by a new government. Indeed, that government needs to respect the international community’s will.