The Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked the Canadian Charge d’Affairs to explain why the Canadian foreign minister met with a member of the Israeli government in East Jerusalem.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry explained this could make Canada “complicit in Israeli violations as an occupying force”.
The ministry published a statement on Monday announcing that it had asked the Canadian government “to clarify the reasons why Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird held an informal meeting with a member of the Israeli government in East Jerusalem, the occupied capital of the Palestinian state”.
The ministry statement said that because the meeting took place in East Jerusalem, Canada displayed “an implicit recognition of illegal Israeli attempts to annex East Jerusalem”.
The ministry statement has since been deleted from its website and social media platforms.
The Canadian embassy in Egypt Spokesperson Dan Whalen confirmed that the ministry requested clarification and that the Charge d’Affairs went to the ministry on Monday and clarified the Canadian stance. He said: “The fact that the meeting took place in East Jerusalem does not change our policy.” Whalen said that Canada is committed to pursuing a two state solution agreed upon by both sides.
Baird travelled to Israel last week and met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. According to a Canadian Foreign Ministry statement, the pair discussed a number of issues including ways to move forward in the Israel-Palestinian peace process.