Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

November 16, 2011 19:28 ET

Minister MacKay Hosts a Bilateral Meeting With Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 16, 2011) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, and the Israeli Minister of Defence, Ehud Barak, met today in Ottawa for a bilateral meeting to discuss how to enhance cooperation and build on a growing defence relationship between Canada and Israel.

"Canada and Israel have enjoyed close bilateral defence relations for some time and our special relationship with Israel has grown stronger in recent years," said Minister MacKay. "Canada and Israel have shared values in key areas, such as public security, trade and investment, democracy and the rule of law and our growing relations in the defence sector enables a more prosperous relationship in the future."

Minister MacKay and Minister Barak discussed a number of key issues, including the significance of benefits from the exchange of best practices between their respective Defence ministries, as well as changing regional dynamics in the Middle East, including Iran. A strong ally of Israel, Canada is concerned about the very alarmist and threatening words that have been directed toward Israel by Iran.

Canada's defence relations with Israel have grown significantly in recent years. In January 2011, as part of a five-day trip to the Middle East, Minister MacKay had a successful visit in Israel where he signed a Principal Memorandum of Understanding on defence relations with his Israeli counterpart.

Canada and Israel are working on two Memoranda of Understanding in order to further entrench our relationship with regards to material and military research and development.

While in Canada, Minister of Defence Ehud Barak will attend the annual Halifax International Security Forum on 18 – 20 November 2011.

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