Canada pledges $300 million to Palestinian aid

Canadian Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier on Sunday pledged $300 million in new aid to the Palestinians, according to a statement from the Canadian government. Bernier said the money, to be allocated over the coming five years, will be used for security and government reform. He said the pledge coincides with a pledge by Israeli and Palestinian leaders to aim for a peace treaty this year, made at the US-sponsored Mideast conference in November. Bernier met with Palestinian leaders in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Sunday. After meeting Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki, Bernier warned that Canada's aid is "not unconditional. We will need to see demonstrable progress in negotiations by both sides, as well as progress in Palestinian reforms." On Monday, he is scheduled to meet Israeli officials and tour Yad Vashem.