Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Middle East Annapolis Conference

Mr. Kevin Sorenson (Crowfoot, CPC):


"Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, and Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, agreed to resume long stalled peace talks.


The first formal peace talks are to be held December 12, with Abbas and Olmert meeting every two weeks after that. This will be the first formal direct talks between the two sides in seven years.


What is the government’s assessment from the meetings that took place yesterday in Annapolis concerning the Middle East peace process?"



Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC):


"Mr. Speaker, Canada is optimistic about the meetings that took place yesterday in Annapolis. Prime Minister Olmert, in fact, called me just before question period regarding those meetings.


I welcomed his recognition that peace in the Middle East will require painful compromises on all sides. I indicated, as did the Minister of Foreign Affairs who was there, that Canada stands ready to assist the process in any way that we can.


This is an important issue. I do anticipate that I will be speaking to other leaders in the days and weeks ahead."