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Trudeau speaks with Palestinian leader ahead of Garneau’s Middle East visit

Click to play video: 'Trudeau says violence in Gaza ‘needs to stop,’ calls for ceasefire' Trudeau says violence in Gaza ‘needs to stop,’ calls for ceasefire
WATCH: Trudeau says violence in Gaza ‘needs to stop,’ calls for ceasefire – May 18, 2021

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is speaking with the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas today ahead of his foreign affairs minister’s visit to Jordan, Israel and the West Bank later this week.

Marc Garneau’s office says his visit to the Middle East aims to advance Canada’s support towards the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region and a two-state solution following a deadly 11-day war between Israelis and Palestinians last month.

Rex Brynen, a political science professor at McGill University, says Garneau will tell the leaders in the region that a two-state solution is the only viable resolution of the conflict and the parties should not take actions that compromise that solution, but these statements won’t be enough.

Read more: Canada calling for ceasefire as Israel-Palestine fighting escalates

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He says the government believes in a two-state solution but it will not do anything that would be a significant contribution to moving in that extremely difficult direction as the prospects for that solution are eroding.

Brynen, who is a former longtime consultant to the Canadian government on Middle East issues, says Ottawa should raise the cost of behaviours that undermine the two-state solution including supporting the International Criminal Court’s investigation into settlement activity and military operations in Gaza.

He says that would signal to various parties that there are costs associated with their inappropriate behaviour whether that is Israeli settlement activity or Hamas firing rockets at Israeli cities.

The minister’s visit to the region comes weeks after a ceasefire ended the war that left at least 230 Palestinians and 12 Israelis dead.

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