OTTAWA, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird and Middle East envoy Tony Blair agreed the economy was central to ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict when they met here Wednesday.
Baird told a joint media conference following the meeting the most important way to end the cycle of poverty and unrest in the Middle East was through job creation, hope and opportunity.
"That's why Canada is absolutely committed to finding new and creative ways to help the Palestinian people," he said.
Former British prime minister Blair, who is now the U.N.-backed Quartet on the Middle East special envoy, said he was pleased Israeli-Palestinian peace talks were moving forward after a long suspension.
The success came from offering a good economic future to the Palestinians, he said
"Unless Palestinians believe they're going to have a prosperous economy and Israelis believe they're going to have security, there's no way the politics can work," Blair said.
Asked how the Syrian conflict would affect the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Baird said improving the Palestinian economy would benefit Palestinian refugees living in Syria, while Blair said it only added urgency to settling disputes in the region.
Blair was in Ottawa to attend the inaugural seminar of the Office of Religious Freedom in Foreign Affairs.
The Quartet on the Middle East, comprised of the United Nations, United States, the European Union and Russia, is involved in mediating the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Canada backs the Quartet's role in supporting Palestinian economic development and pushing forward peace negotiations.
In June 2013, Canada provided 1.4 million Canadian dollars (about 1.35 million U.S. dollars) to the Office of the Quartet Representative.
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