Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the State of Israel, today witnessed the signing of a Canada-Israel Strategic Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The Strategic Partnership reaffirms the close and special friendship that underpins the bilateral relationship, and lays out a strategic direction for stronger future relations between the two countries. The announcement was made in Jerusalem, Israel, during the Prime Minister’s first official visit to the Middle East, from January 18-25, 2014.
Under the MOU, Canada and Israel agree to redouble efforts to advance common interests with a particular focus on promoting jobs, growth and economic prosperity in both countries. The Strategic Partnership touches on energy, security, international aid and development, innovation, and the promotion of human rights globally – areas where Canadian and Israeli expertise can be leveraged to improve lives both at home and around the world.
While in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Harper had the privilege of being the first Canadian Prime Minister to address the Knesset (parliament), where he outlined his vision for the future of the Canada-Israel relationship. This honour is a testament to the close friendship between both countries and to solidarity on a broad range of global issues.
- Prime Minister Harper’s visit to Israel is the first by a Canadian Prime Minister since 2000, and builds on Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit to Canada in March 2012.
- Prime Minister Harper is the first Canadian Prime Minister to address the Knesset (parliament).
- In 2012, bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Israel was valued at $1.41 billion.
“Canada and Israel enjoy a special friendship based on freedom, justice, democracy and the rule of law, underpinned by strong and growing people-to-people ties. The Memorandum of Understanding signed today lays out a strategic direction for stronger future relations between our two countries in commerce, innovation, energy, security, international aid and development, and the promotion of human rights globally. The many areas in which we both want to deepen and broaden cooperation, including the new agreement between our universities, is truly a testament of the goodwill between our two nations.”
– Prime Minister Stephen Harper