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Photo by: Marc Israel Sellem
Iran, Arab Spring main points in Peres’ Canada visit
By GREER FAY CASHMAN
06/05/2012
President will travel to Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal in five-day visit during which he will meet with politicians, dignitaries.
 
President Shimon Peres leaves on Sunday for a five-day state visit to Canada, strengthening the already firm ties between the two countries.

The president will travel to Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal, where he will meet with politicians and dignitaries, mainly to discuss the threat of a nuclear Iran, the Arab Spring and its effects on the region and relations between Israel and her neighbors.

On Monday morning, Canada’s Governor-General David Lloyd Johnston will honor Peres with a welcome reception, after which the two men will have a working meeting.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will then give the president a second reception at Parliament House, after which they will meet.

Peres will also meet with Opposition leader Bob Rae, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, Quebec Premier Jean Charest and other dignitaries.

In addition to drumming up greater support for sanctions against Iran, Peres will focus on enhancing the already excellent relationship between Israel and Canada through increased diplomatic, scientific and economic cooperation.

On Tuesday, Peres will attend the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding between the Royal Society of Canada and the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, after which he will participate in a ceremonial tree planting in the grounds of Rideau Hall, which is the official residence and work place of the governor general of Canada and which also contains special accommodation for visiting dignitaries.

On Tuesday evening, Canadian Jewish leaders will host a gala event in honor of Israel’s 64th anniversary of independence, and the president will be the guest of honor. Baird will also participate in this event.

On Wednesday, Peres will be in Toronto, where following a working meeting with McGuinty, Peres will contribute to a discussion on Canadian and Israeli cooperation on brain research. Later he will be the guest of the Jewish community of Toronto and will address a meeting hosted by the United Jewish Appeal Federation of Greater Toronto.

Political analyst and television commentator David Frum will then interview Peres live on stage at the Sony Center for the Performing Arts.

On Thursday Peres will fly to Montreal where he will meet with the Jewish community in the Shaar Hashamayim synagogue, the oldest and largest synagogue in Canada which dates back to 1846. He will then meet with Charest before boarding the return flight to Israel. Contrary to his usual custom, Peres will not fly El Al.

For budgetary reasons, he will be flown to and from Canada via Air Canada.
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