OTTAWA (Jun. 6)
Prime Minister Joe Clark said yesterday, at his first press conference, that he is fully determined to follow through with his campaign promise to move Canada’s Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem despite the opposition from the United States and Arab countries.
I cannot give you a time frame at the moment. We certainly intend to do that. From now on this is the policy of the Canadian government, “he declared As for any reservations the senior officers of the Midistry of External Affairs might have, Clark rejected them by saying:” I expect their collaboration by showing me the way how to implement technically a political engagement.” The Prime Minister made it clear that “the signature of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty created favorable conditions for the transfer of the Canadian Embassy to Jerusalem. If is time for us to show, by concrete gesture, the nature of our feelings for Israel, “he concluded.
In Washington, the State Department indicated today that the U.S. hes###no intention at this time to emulate Canada’s decision to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Responding to questions. The Department’s chief spokesman Hodding Carter said, After all, it is Canada’s decision to make. Our policy remains what it has been. It would pre-judge the case for us to move ours (embassy) from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”)
The Egyptian Ambassador to Ottawa, Hassan Fahmy, in a CBC interview, said that “the decision taken by the Clark government is a very unfriendly gesture and constitutes a denial of human rights for the people living in that region.” Fahmy reiterated that in the question of Jerusalem, the Egyptian government is in solidarity with all other Arab countries.
It is expected that in the coming weeks, the Canadian government will be subjected to heavy pressure from the Arab countries as half of the oil consumed in eastern Canada comes from the Mideast Arab countries. Pressure is also expected from Bell Canada, which has a $1.5 billion contract with Saudi Arabia for telephone equipment and training of technicians and also has contracts with Iran and Algeria.