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Prime Minister Stephen Harper holds a bilateral meeting with Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations in New York on Sept. 21, 2011. (Ryan Remiorz/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Prime Minister Stephen Harper holds a bilateral meeting with Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations in New York on Sept. 21, 2011. (Ryan Remiorz/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Israeli PM thanks Harper for support amid Palestinian tension at UN Add to ...

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has thanked Prime Minister Stephen Harper for his support for Israel.

The two leaders met at the United Nations on Wednesday as Mr. Harper wound up a two-day New York visit.

During a brief photo op, the two men both said the solution to the Israel-Palestinian impasse lies in a resumption of two-way peace talks, not a United Nations declaration of statehood for Palestine.

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“We do look forward to the day when the two sides are at the bargaining table and making the tough decisions necessary,” Mr. Harper said.

Mr. Netanyahu agreed: “I share, too, your desire that we resume direct negotiations for peace and get on with it.”

The Israeli Prime Minister, who referred to Mr. Harper as a friend, said Canada and Israel have much in common.

“Same heart and same values,” he said. “And that I say with great appreciation for your stance and your conviction, for your friendship.”

Mr. Harper, an outspoken supporter of Israel, opposes efforts by the Palestinians to win United Nations recognition of statehood. He says that move won't help the Middle East peace process.

U.S. President Barack Obama made that same point in his address to the General Assembly earlier Wednesday.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is to speak to the assembly on Friday and wants to bring the statehood motion before the Security Council.

The United States says it's prepared to veto the motion.

Earlier, Mr. Harper spoke to American business leaders at the New York Stock Exchange.

The Prime Minister pitched Canada as a great place for long-term investment because of its stable political environment, sound public finances and low tax environment.

He held a one-hour roundtable with top-flight U.S. executives from firms such as Barclays Capital, Goldman Sachs and United Technologies Corp.

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