By Israel News Agency Staff
Jerusalem — September 15 … The following was communicated by the Israel Finance Minister’s media adviser to the Israel News Agency.
Finance Minister Yair Lapid, this afternoon in Tel Aviv, met with Canadian Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Steven Blaney. The two men signed a Declaration of Intent between the Canadian Border Services Agency and the Israel Tax Authority on Mutual Recognition of the Authorized Economic Operator Program.
Finance Minister Lapid opened the meeting by welcoming Minister Blaney to Israel and said, “We know that Canada is a true friend and your visit will strengthen further the cooperation between our two countries. We share the same moral values and unfortunately now we can all see that we share the same threat.
Israel is faced with Hamas in the south, Hezbollah in the north and now ISIS advancing from the east. We are dependent on the strength of our military and the strength of our economy to withstand these threats. We are not here just to survive but to thrive and we must also be open to opportunities. We must move to find a solution for Gaza based on a regional framework, through a regional summit which includes all the key partners including Canada. For progress to be made we must ensure that rehabilitation occurs alongside demilitarization. We are strengthened and encouraged by the support of our allies, and in particularly with Canada which stands steadfast by our side”
Israel Minister Lapid continued and said, “Today we will build on our already excellent relations in a field which is strong between us and that is our tax and customs administrations. Although customs agreements rarely grab the headlines, it is exactly this sort of cooperation which facilitates economic growth through trade. Today, the signing of a Declaration of Intent between the Canadian Border Services Agency and the Israel Tax Authority, on Mutual Recognition of Authorized Economic Operator Program, is a natural step forward. This agreement addresses our mutual interests and strengthens the commitment of our two nations to prosperity and security.”
Canada Minister Blaney thanked Minister Lapid for the warm welcome and said, “It’s a privilege to be here today for the first time in my life in the Middle East. I had the privilege to visit the Holy City of Jerusalem, as a Christian it’s been a moving experience and very impressive to see the development occurring in the State of Israel. It certainly is a journey and hopefully I’ll have an opportunity to come back and discover more. We value our relationship with Israel and as Public Safety Minister I’m glad to be here to move forward with additional commitments so we can move forward to increase business, facilitate trade and commerce in a safe environment.
This declaration will increase the cooperation and allow us to improve trade and security. Canada and Israel have a strong trade relationship and I look forward to the complete agreement.”
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