Canadian FM egged by protestors during trip to Ramallah
Palestinians on Sunday hurled eggs at Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird as he was leaving the Palestinian Foreign Ministry in Ramallah, in protest against his country's support for Israel.
Amid chants condemning what they said was Canada's supportive stance for Israel, dozens of Palestinians threw eggs at Baird following his meeting with his Palestinian counterpart Riad al-Maliki, Anadolu Agency reported.
Baird arrived in Ramallah from Jerusalem on Sunday and was expected to leave after his meeting with al-Maliki. He is in the region for five days of meetings with Israeli and Palestinian officials.
On Saturday, Palestinian student movements called for protests against the top Canadian diplomat's visit.
"We're here today to say that Baird's visit in not welcome, and we call on him to leave Ramallah immediately," Essam Abubakr, one of the demonstrators, told AA. "We condemn Canada's support for Israel's terrorism and its support for Israel in the United Nations."
Abubakr called on the Canadian government to side with the Palestinian people who are "under Israeli occupation".
Canada has expressed its opposition to the recent Palestinian bid to pursue war crime charges against Israel in the International Criminal Court (ICC). Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Sunday that his country would seek to dent funding for the court.
"We will demand of our friends in Canada, in Australia and in Germany simply to stop funding it," he told Israel Radio. He said he would raise the matter with Baird on Sunday.
In a statement, Baird described his meeting with the Palestinian foreign ministry officials on Sunday as "cordial and constructive" and included "candid and frank exchanges on areas where we differ in opinion".
Saeb Erekat, the lead Palestinian peace negotiator, penned a scathing critique of Baird in the Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail on Friday.
“After spending the past few years listening to Mr. Baird going out of his way to legitimize the banality and brutality of a 50-year-old Israeli occupation, I tell Mr. Baird: enough,” he wrote.
“If there is anyone that has to apologize, it is Mr. Baird himself. He should first apologize to his own citizenry, many of whom are God-loving Jews, Christians and Muslims who would never condone nor cheer for an Israeli government that stretches support to Israeli settlers who attack churches and mosques.”
He said Baird should “apologize for his active encouragement of Israel’s brute and ugly occupation and its apartheid policies. He should apologize for failing to promote those things Canadians hold dear, such as freedom, dignity and human rights, and for replacing those ideals with an outspoken support of Israel’s clear and undisputed violations of international law