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Israel wants Harper's advice on natural gas during historic visit: ambassador

OTTAWA - Israel's new ambassador says his country appreciates Prime Minister Stephen Harper's unwavering friendship, his government's tough talk on Iran, and even its financial aid to the Palestinian people.

But when Harper makes his historic visit next month to Israel, its leaders want his help in another area — making the most of its newly discovered natural gas.

Newly-arrived Israeli ambassador Rafi Barak says Harper likely has a lot to share on how to help his country make the most of its large offshore energy reserves.

Barak also expects progress on trade during Harper's visit next month, expanding a modest free trade agreement the two countries signed in 1997.

It will be Harper's first trip to Israel since he took office seven years ago and positioned Canada as the Jewish state's staunchest ally and closest friend.

Harper's visit will coincide with the 65th anniversary of Israeli-Canadian relations.

The Canadian Press


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