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Canadian, Israeli defence ministers meet in Ottawa

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Defence Minister Bob Nicholson, centre, with U.S. Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel and Israeli Defence Moshe Ya'alon at the International Security Forum. [Israel Sun photo]

OTTAWA — Defence Minister Rob Nicholson and his Israeli counterpart, Moshe Ya’alon, met Nov. 22 for the first time to discuss how to enhance co-operation and build on a growing defence relationship between Canada and Israel.

“I am proud to say that Canada and Israel enjoy close military relations at all levels,” Nicholson said.

“The strong ties between Canada and Israel are based on our shared values, including democracy and the rule of law. Our co-operation in terms of defence is continually improving, and I am confident that we will find avenues to expand our defence relations even further in the near future.”

Nicholson and Ya’alon also discussed the Principal Memorandum of Understanding signed by Canada and Israel in January 2011, which laid a foundation for Canadian-Israeli defence co-operation in counter-terrorism, training, search and rescue, intelligence, command and control and the sharing of new technologies.

Since being signed, it has shaped and added momentum to the development of the two countries’ defence relationship, and is the basis of future co-operation between their two militaries, the federal government said in a statement.

While in Canada, Ya’alon joined Nicholson in Halifax for the fifth annual Halifax International Security Forum, which took place from Nov. 22 to 24.

While there, Ya’alon also met with U.S. Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel, who was also attending the conference.

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