Friday, May 27, 2005

Canada Gets It Wrong Again

Palestinian leader gets "down payment" from Canada after meeting with Martin

A six-hour visit to Canada by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday prompted the federal government to modestly improve its aid to the Middle East peace process, and to help the Palestinian Authority boost its economy and build infrastructure.

Prime Minister Paul Martin announced an additional $12.2 million in aid after meeting with Abbas, who paid a brief visit to Ottawa for the first time since being elected in January to lead his people.

Calling it a "down payment" on Canada's commitment to fostering peace in the region, Martin suggested any additional money would be conditional on Abbas following through on promised reforms.

"President Abbas must take firm measures against violence and terrorism, and should vigorously pursue the (corruption) reform program that he has launched," the prime minister said. - CP

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