Governor General to Undertake Visits to Jordan, Israel and the West Bank

OTTAWA—At the request of the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston will travel to the Middle East from October 29 to November 6. They will conduct State visits to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan from October 29 to November 1, and to the State of Israel from November 1 to 3. They will also visit the West Bank on November 4 and 5. Their Excellencies will then return to Canada on November 6.

"Sharon and I are very much looking forward to visiting Jordan, Israel and the West Bank," said the Governor General. "Accompanied by a delegation of Canadian leaders in education, business and civil society, we aim to strengthen our ties with our regional partners, with a special focus on innovation, development, security and humanitarian needs."

Their Excellencies will also have the opportunity to visit the following holy sites: Mount Nebo (near Madaba); the Baptism Site of Jesus Christ (Bethany Beyond the Jordan); the Western Wall (Jerusalem), the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque (Jerusalem); the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Jerusalem); and the Church of the Nativity (Bethlehem).

State Visit to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan – October 29 to November 1

In the capital city of Amman, Their Excellencies will be officially welcomed by His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The Governor General will meet with His Excellency Dr. Hani al-Mulki, Prime Minister of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. He will take part in a discussion on the challenges faced by young entrepreneurs in Jordan. The Governor General will also visit the Queen Rania Teacher Academy.

Their Excellencies will visit the Zaatari refugee camp, which is located 10 kilometres east of Mafraq, to meet with Syrian refugees, as well as with representatives of the Ministry of Interior’s Syrian Refugee Affairs Directorate and of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which jointly manage the camp.

The Governor General will participate in a round-table discussion with mayors and municipal leaders to discuss the pressures put on municipal services delivery and infrastructures when welcoming refugees.

Her Excellency’s program will focus on the work being done by non-governmental organizations in the region that are receiving Canadian support. In Hadada, she will meet with a local woman entrepreneur who was able to open a small shop with the help of CARE International. In Fuheis, she will visit a Caritas Health Clinic to see how medical services are being provided to refugees and Jordanian families as a result of Canada’s help.

State Visit to Israel – November 1 to 4

Their Excellencies will be officially welcomed to Israel by His Excellency Reuven Rivlin, President of the State of Israel, and Mrs. Nechama Rivlin, First Lady of Israel.

In Jerusalem, Their Excellencies will lay wreaths on the tombs of Theodor Herzl and Shimon Peres, and visit Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre. The Governor General will be the first Canadian to plant an olive tree as a symbol of peace at the Grove of Nations. He will visit the Israeli Legislative Assembly, meet with its speaker and lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Governor General will meet with His Excellency Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the State of Israel. Their Excellencies will also visit the Institute for Medical Research Israel–Canada.

In Kadima Zoran, the Governor General will visit Phinergy, an Israeli technology company that has developed an aluminum-air battery in partnership with a Canadian company.

In Haifa, Her Excellency will visit Hand In Hand, a bilingual preschool that welcomes both Hebrew- and Arabic-speaking children. Their Excellencies will take part in a discussion on student diversity at Technion University, where the Governor General will also receive an honorary doctorate and deliver an address on innovation.

Visit to the West Bank – November 4 and 5

In Ramallah, the Governor General will be greeted by His Excellency Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority. The Governor General will inaugurate a temporary forensic science laboratory supported by Canadian funding.

In Bethlehem, Their Excellencies will visit the Church of the Nativity. They will also visit the Al Shurooq School for Blind Children, which benefits from a solar power project funded by Canada. The Governor General will attend a panel discussion at Bethlehem University on environmental innovation in agriculture. Mrs. Johnston will visit a Canadian-funded project that empowers vulnerable women by helping them develop small businesses and providing them with better access to markets.

Members of the public will be able to follow the Governor General’s visits to Jordan, Israel and the West Bank online at www.gg.ca, where speeches, photos and videos will be posted, as well as via Facebook and Twitter.

This itinerary is subject to change without notice. To obtain the latest updates, please visit www.gg.ca.

Media information:

Julie Rocheleau
Rideau Hall Press Office
613-998-7280
julie.rocheleau@gg.ca

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