PM Netanyahu and Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL) (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)
Chrystia Freeland

“We have a lot of projects that we want to move forward,” said Netanyahu of Israel’s relations with Canada.

By: United with Israel Staff

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland on Wednesday in Jerusalem, discussing ways to deepen bilateral cooperation.

It is Freeland’s first visit to Israel since Justin Trudeau became Canada’s prime minister in November 2015.

Netanyahu extolled the “great friendship between Israel and Canada. It’s one that is based on similar values and our commitment to democracy and freedom and liberty and the rule of law and all the good things that I think characterize our two countries. We are friends. We consider you great friends.”

He also thanked Canada for its support “in various international forums.”

Canada has not established international relations with Iran even after the signing of the nuclear agreement in 2015, “which ought to be self-evident for a country that openly calls for the destruction of the one and only Jewish state but you have acted on it and we appreciate that,” Netanyahu said.

“Equally, we have a lot of projects that we want to move forward. We just talked on the way here, we already resolved that in a very short cordial walk, we decided that we’ll speed up the ratification of our updated free-trade agreement which is something that will benefit both Israel and Canada,” Netanyahu added.

The agreement will take effect once it is ratified by the parliaments in both countries. The goal of the agreement is to double the scope of trade between the two countries.

Extraordinary New Industries

“Israel is an innovation nation. Canada is one of the greatest economies in the world. It’s got innovators, it’s got markets, it’s got connections to other countries too. It’s a big country. We are eager to pursue that cooperation both on technology and in trade and equally in aero-space and cyber security and everything that is now open to us because of the marketable transformation of the global economy based on the meeting of big data, artificial intelligence and connectivity. It creates extraordinary new industries. Israel is there on the cutting edge,” he underscored.

Freeland, accompanied by Canadian Jewish leaders, also visited the Western Wall and the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, where she spoke about Saturday’s shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, where 11 Jewish worshipers were killed.

“We are all obligated to banish the darkness that terrorists want to overcome the world,” she said, “and to illuminate our world with good.”

JNS contributed to this report.