Harper, Israeli PM didn't discuss G8: PMO
PM's spokesman denies report Netanyahu asked Canada to block Obama policy at summit
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's spokesman is denying a report that Israel's prime minister specifically asked Canada to thwart G8 support for a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz quotes a senior Israeli official as saying Benjamin Netanyahu telephoned Harper on Tuesday, before the G8 summit in France.
The border proposal was contained in a landmark speech on the future of Israel and Palestine that U.S. President Barack Obama made earlier this month.
The G8's declaration on the issue did not include any mention of borders.
Harper's spokesman Dimitri Soudas told The Canadian Press Sunday that there was no G8 discussion with Netanyahu.
"The prime minister's views are long-standing and well known on the Middle East process towards a two state solution," Soudas said.
"It's important that any statement on the Middle East always have balanced references to the various positions and the G8 statement is a balanced statement."
One media report said it was because Harper objected, something he wouldn't confirm or deny.
According to Haaretz, Netanyahu told Harper that mentioning the border issue would be detrimental to Israeli interests and a reward to the Palestinians.
"The prime minister is in constant contact with various leaders in moving ahead the diplomatic process," Netanyahu's bureau told Haaretz.
The Israeli newspaper also reported in a story posted online Sunday that Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman thanked Foreign Minister John Baird for Canada's stand during the G8.
"Canada is a true friend of Israel and with a realistic and proper view of things, it understands that the 1967 borders do not conform to Israel's security needs and with the current demographic reality," Lieberman told Haaretz, one of Israel's leading newspapers.
Israel was angered with Obama's call for a Israeli-Palestinian peace deal based on its 1967 borders, before the Six Day War in which Israel occupied East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, with agreed-upon land swaps