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Parliament of Canada passes a landmark resolution for recognizing State of Palestine

Amidst significant discord, a resolution proposed by the federal New Democrats to recognize the “State of Palestine” in Canada initially faced uncertain prospects. However, it ultimately passed on Monday, albeit with substantial amendments by the Liberals, who reframed it to emphasize pursuing peace in the Middle East within a two-state framework.

According to reports from Canadian media, what seemed like an impending failure for the NDP motion shifted unexpectedly when Government House Leader Steven MacKinnon presented a revised motion comprising nearly 500 words, altering significant portions of the original NDP proposal, in the closing moments of the debate.

Despite the eleventh-hour modifications, the motion was passed amidst controversy, with the NDP claiming a measure of success.

Support for the revised motion came from Liberal, NDP, Bloc Quebecois, and Green MPs, while Conservatives opposed it.

The prolonged debate, lasting nearly a day, attracted significant attention internationally and revealed divisions among MPs.

Concerns were raised about the process and potential ramifications of the resolution, underscoring the ongoing quest for peace and stability in the region amidst persisting conflicts.

Following extensive deliberations, the non-binding but symbolically significant NDP motion ultimately secured approval by a vote of 204 to 117.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the majority of Liberal MPs supported the motion, alongside MPs from the NDP, Bloc Quebecois, and Green Party. However, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre and his party voted against it.

While numerous aspects of the motion underwent alterations, arguably the most significant change occurred in its concluding line.

Originally, the motion called on the government to “officially recognize the State of Palestine,” but was amended to emphasize working with international partners to actively pursue a comprehensive, just, and enduring peace in the Middle East, including the establishment of the State of Palestine through negotiated means as part of a two-state solution.

“We have compelled the government to pivot in a certain direction,” asserted NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, declaring victory ahead of the vote, though facing inquiries about why his party did not craft the motion differently initially if Monday’s outcome aligned with their intentions.

Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly, speaking to reporters post-vote, remarked that Canada was conveying a “strong message” to the world. When asked if the measures outlined in the motion should be regarded as the government’s official stance, Joly stated that it clearly reflected the government’s intent.

She emphasized the significance of endorsing the two-state solution, noting Canada’s role as a G7 member in signaling to other nations.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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