Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement:

“Canada is disappointed and concerned by today’s announcement regarding a potential Palestinian unity government.

“Canada has long stated that we will deal only with a Palestinian government that recognizes Israel, renounces violence and respects past agreements with Israel.

“Hamas is a listed terrorist organization under Canadian law, one that is responsible for the murders of countless innocent Israelis.

“Bringing terrorists into the mainstream of Palestinian politics does not represent progress toward achieving a just and lasting peace in the region. It represents a clear setback of American-led efforts to reach a just and lasting peace.

“At this particularly sensitive time, Canada once again calls on the parties to demonstrate their commitment to the negotiations and refrain from taking unilateral steps that make a peace deal unattainable.

“Canada believes strongly in a two-state solution and that negotiations provide the only viable path to a lasting peace.”

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