Stephen Harper's flight refuels in Cologne, Germany on way to Middle East | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Stephen Harper's flight refuels in Cologne, Germany on way to Middle East

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and wife Laureen visit Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, Israel, on Sunday, January 19, 2014. Dome of the Rock in the Old City of Jerusalem is seen in the background. While in the Middle East Harper will be visiting Israel, West Bank, and Jordan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
January 19, 2014 - 2:34 AM

OTTAWA - Stephen Harper's plane touched down in Cologne, Germany this morning for a refuelling stop on its way to the Middle East.

The prime minister left Ottawa yesterday with a large entourage in tow on a six-day trip that will include visits to Israel, the West Bank and Jordan.

Harper is travelling with no less than six cabinet ministers, a senator and some 30 top business executives that include David Asper, Philip Reichmann and Calin Rovinescu.

Also accompanying the prime minister on his first official visit to the Middle East are 21 rabbis and a priest.

In total, there are just over 100 people on the plane and Canadian taxpayers are footing the entire cost of travel and accommodations for at least 30 of them.

Stephen Harper has been a passionate supporter of Israel, and on Monday he`ll make history by becoming the first Canadian prime minister to address the Knesset — Israel's parliament.

Spokesman Jason MacDonald says Harper will promote commercial relations, as well as peace and security in the region, when he meets with Israeli leaders and, later in the week, with the King of Jordan.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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