Palestinian minister praises Canada
OTTAWA - Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki is throwing an olive branch to Canada, saying there's no point in either side being held hostage by past rhetoric.
That was one of several conciliatory remarks Al-Malki offered during a joint Ottawa news conference with Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird.
The Harper government's unabashed support of the Israel has fuelled criticism and alienated many in the Arab and Muslim world, in Canada and abroad.
Al-Malki says Canada has been a great contributor to the Palestinian Authority's attempts to build institutions and capacity and that's a step towards finding peace with Israel.
Baird says Canada's $300 million, five-year aid pledge to the Palestinian Authority, which was due to expire in March, but has been extended for one year.
That became an issue after the Harper government opposed the successful Palestinian bid for statehood recognition at the UN and said there would be consequences.