Canadian FM concerned about route of barrier

January 21, 2007 21:18


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Visiting Canadian Foreign Minister Peter McKay on Sunday expressed objections to the route of Israel's separation barrier along the West Bank, but justified its existence in principle. After meeting Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, McKay said the barrier was built out of "concerns of protecting Israeli citizens" because of Palestinian suicide bombers who infiltrated from the West Bank, but was worried that the route, which cuts into the West Bank, could be interpreted as a permanent border. McKay said he brought up the issue with Livni. "She has given me assurances that throughout the borders are issues that have to be discussed in the broader context of peace negotiations," he said. McKay also toured the Bethlehem area on Sunday, passing through a gate in the 8-meter barrier to get from Jerusalem to the town in the West Bank just three kilometers away. He saw a refugee camp next to Bethlehem and talked to residents.

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