NDP TO ASK FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE TO STUDY MIDDLE EAST

 


OTTAWA – NDP Foreign Affairs Critic Hélène Laverdière (Laurier – Sainte-Marie) will ask the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development to undertake a study on Canada’s role in the Middle East. 

"It is past time for the House Foreign Affairs Committee to study the Middle East and learn how Canada can play a more active diplomatic role and better contribute to peace, justice, respect for human rights and economic development in the region," said Laverdière. "Many Canadians have told me they want Canada to play a positive role with regard to complex conflicts in the region, like the Israel/Palestine conflict and the conflict between the Saudi-led coalition and insurgent rebels in Yemen. But in my seven years on this committee under both Conservative and Liberal governments, we haven’t studied these issues in depth. We are overdue for such a study."

Laverdière intends to move the motion during today’s meeting of the Committee, which is scheduled to be held in public. The Committee is dominated by a majority of Liberal MPs, who will have the final say in whether this study will be undertaken.

The motion reads as follows:

That pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development undertake a study on how Canada can better contribute to peace, security, justice, respect for human rights and economic development in the Middle East, with particular emphasis on the conflicts in Israel/Palestine, Yemen, and Syria, as well as the spheres of influence of countries in the region, such as Iran and Saudi Arabia; that the committee hear from expert witnesses and travel to the region in order to identify areas where Canada can make more positive contributions; and that it report its findings back to the House. 

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