Governor General of Canada David Johnston, who also serves as Commander-in-Chief, visited the Knesset on Wednesday as a guest of the Knesset Speaker, Yuli-Yoel Edelstein. This is the first official visit to Israel by a Canadian Governor General, a position similar to Israel`s president.
Johnston requested to lay a wreath on the monument in memory of Israel`s fallen soldiers, located within the Knesset compound.
After signing the Knesset`s guestbook, Johnston held a work meeting with Speaker Edelstein, with the participation of the head of the Israel-Canada Parliamentary Friendship Group, MK Anat Berko (Likud). Edelstein told his guests that while the governments of the two countries change from time to time, the ”brave friendship” between the two nations remains. ”These are not only formal handshakes”, he emphasized, ”They have practical significance of fruitful cooperation in the fields of academia, science, internal security and so on”.
Edelstein thanked the governor for the attendance of a high-ranking delegation, headed by the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, at the funeral of former President Shimon Peres.
Governor Johnston stressed his admiration towards the Israeli nation and its democracy, and quoted the words of Peres in favor of creativity and innovation. He asked to consult with his hosts regarding the benefits and drawbacks of the voting system in Israel, due to the intention to change the regional voting system in Canada.
During the meeting, the Knesset Speaker noted that Israel would appreciate Canada`s help in promoting initiatives for cooperation between countries in the region. ”Many countries around the world are enthusiastic about Israeli developments in many fields, such as agriculture, technology, water and medicine, and we are happy to share our knowledge with them,” Edelstein said”. It is a shame that countries of the region specifically hesitate to have such cooperation”.
”Before we discuss complicated diplomatic topics, it is possible to work together on practical and daily matters”, he added.