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Canadian Official Says Canada Does Not Rule out Recognizing PLO or Idea of a Palestinian State

Canada’s Secretary of State for External Affairs, Mark McGuigan, declared in Ottawa that “Canada does not fully reject the idea of a Palestinian state on the West Bank” and “is not ruling out the recognition of the PLO as a party to future negotiations on the fate of the West Bank, provided the PLO recognizes Israel’s right to exist.”

Referring to the West Bank as “Israeli occupied territory,” McGuigan said “We think Israel has no right to build settlements in the occupied territories and the existing ones should be dismantled.”

McGuigan, who addressed the foreign press last Thursday, was on that same day removed from the External Affairs Department in a Cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau and was appointed Minister of Justice. Allan MacEachen, Minister of Finance, was named the new Secretary for External Affairs, the portfolio he held before heading the Finance Ministry three years ago.

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