Harper on deck to visit Bethlehem, Ramallah and Israeli parliament - InfoNews

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Harper on deck to visit Bethlehem, Ramallah and Israeli parliament

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Mahmoud Abbas, on Monday, January 20, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
January 19, 2014 - 11:30 PM

JERUSALEM - There's a jam-packed day of historic firsts in store for Prime Minister Stephen Harper today on his inaugural visit to the Middle East.

Harper begins his first full day in Israel with a visit to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The ancient church is built over the grotto that many believe is the birthplace of Jesus Christ.

Then it's on to the West Bank city of Ramallah, where Harper will sit down with Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas.

The two are expected to deliver joint statements after their meeting at the presidential compound. Many observers have said that Harper`s Conservative government will likely announce further aid to the Palestinians during the prime minister's Middle East visit.

On Sunday Harper and his wife, Laureen, basked in the warmth of the hero's welcome to Israel they were given at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office.

The headline of today`s Jerusalem Post reads: "Netanyahu receives Harper with honour guard, blaring trumpets."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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