From: <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, March 29, 2005 11:12 AM
Subject: A24890-2004 IN REPLY TO YOUR E-MAIL OF DECEMBER 2, 2004

Dr. Ismail Zayid
Canada Palestine Association

Dear Dr. Zayid:

Thank you for your e-mail of December 2, 2004, concerning Canada's
Middle East policy and, in particular, our voting pattern at the United
Nations.  I regret the delay in replying to you.

Canada's policy in the Middle East remains unchanged.  Our votes on
United Nations resolutions related to the Middle East are not directed
for or against one party or the other.  Rather, Canada's votes are based
on the fundamental principles guiding our foreign policy, taking into
account the situation in the region under consideration and the texts of
the resolutions.  We also expect that texts reflect a fair-minded view
of the subjects they address, which is not always the case.

Canada judges each resolution on its merits, consistent with the tenets
of Canada's policy in the Middle East.  If a resolution is consistent
with our policy, we support it; if not, we abstain or vote against.
Taking into account the opening of new opportunities for peace in the
Middle East and after a careful review of all drafts, we decided to
change our vote on three resolutions at the 59th Session of the United
Nations General Assembly.  As Canada's Permanent Representative to the
United Nations, the Honourable Allan Rock, said in his statement to the
United Nations General Assembly, we have long-standing concerns that
many of the resolutions do not contribute to strengthening dialogue or
enhancing trust between the parties. We voted against two resolutions,
namely the Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli
Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other
Arabs of the Occupied Territories and the Committee on the Exercise of
the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People because we believe the
value of these committees is highly questionable.

Concurrently, we voted in favour of the resolution on the Risk of
Nuclear Proliferation in the Middle East. This resolution is consistent
with our nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation policy and ongoing
non-proliferation efforts in the region.

In addition, we abstained on a resolution on Israeli Practices Affecting
the Human Rights of the Palestinian People in the Occupied Palestinian
Territory, Including East Jerusalem because a new operative paragraph on
suicide bombing attacks targeting Israeli civilians expressed "grave
concerns" instead of condemning the attacks.  We could not accept the
implicit double standard behind such new choice of language and
therefore felt compelled to abstain.  We indicated to the sponsors that
Canada could support the resolution if the language was "condemn".  We
continue to believe that ultimately only a negotiated settlement between
the parties will lead to a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and
to prosperity and democracy for all the peoples in the region. We do not
support any unilateral action that might prejudice the outcome of a
negotiated solution.  Canada continues to fully support the Quartet's
Road Map for peace, and we expect both parties to comply with their
obligations as outlined in the Road Map.  We welcome the Government of
Israel's announced withdrawal from Gaza and parts of the West Bank, and
hope that this positive step will lead to a resumption of the Road Map

Thank you again for taking the time to write.


Pierre S. Pettigrew