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Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon in Ottawa on Feb. 22 (Pawel Dwulit/Pawel Dwulit/The Canadian Press)
Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon in Ottawa on Feb. 22 (Pawel Dwulit/Pawel Dwulit/The Canadian Press)

Canada condemns Israeli settlement expansion Add to ...

Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon is taking a harder line against Israel's controversial decision to build settlements in East Jerusalem and now says he condemns the plan.

That's the strongest language to date by a Conservative cabinet minister against Israel.

It comes in response to an Israeli plan to build 1,600 new apartments in a Jewish neighbourhood in disputed East Jerusalem.

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Last week, Mr. Cannon released a cautious statement that expressed both "regret" and "concern" for the new settlement plan, calling it as an obstacle to the pursuit of peace in the Middle East.

The Harper government has been accused of tilting its Middle East policy too much toward Israel in the past.

Israel's settlement plan upstaged a visit by U.S. President Joe Biden to the country last week and has soured relations between Washington and Jerusalem.

The Obama administration immediately criticized the settlements in the toughest language possible - it issued its condemnation on the plan, in contrast to the softer language in Cannon's statement last week.

 

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