The newly elected Canadian leader said he plans to continue his country’s excellent relationship with Israel and to work together on issues of concern to both nations.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with his Canadian counterpart, Justin Trudeau at the climate change conference in Paris Monday, and the encounter was “warm and friendly,” a media spokesperson for Netanyahu said. The war on global terrorism was among the issues discussed, he added.
The amiable encounter was noteworthy, especially since former Canadian Prime Minster Stephen Harper was a staunch ally of Israel. On a visit to the Jewish state in January 2014, for example, he stated at the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) that he will stand with Israel “through fire and water.”
Many pro-Israel observers have been apprehensive since Trudeau’s Liberals obtained a majority win in the national election on October 19, especially since earlier this month, when Canada’s new foreign minister, Stephane Dion, signaled that there would be a change, at least “in tone.”
“I’m delighted to see Prime Minister Trudeau,” Netanyahu stated in Paris. “Canada and Israel have had superb relations. There’s a foundation there to make these relations even stronger. Very practical things that are of interest to both our peoples, and I look forward to having that conversation with you.”
“Now I’m inviting you to Israel at your earliest convenience,” Netanyahu added.
“It would be a pleasure to return to Israel when it works out,” Trudeau said. “But in general, this is really about starting a conversation to continue the very strong friendship and relationship between Canada and Israel.”
“We have many issues to talk about, to discuss, but also many issues to collaborate on. And I look forward to continuing the strong friendship that Canada has shown towards Israel for decades and will continue in ongoing times,” Trudeau said.
Netanyahu was reportedly among the first world leaders to congratulate Trudeau after his election victory.
Netanyahu also met with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and invited him to make an official visit as well.