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Joly urges halt to escalating violence as Israel suspected of airstrike on Iran

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OTTAWA — Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly is once again urging Israel and Iran to prevent their long-running conflict from spiralling into a broader Middle East crisis. 

She is calling for de-escalation and has co-signed a lengthy statement that touches on the Israel-Hamas war, the humanitarian plight in Gaza and attacks on ships off the coast of Yemen.

The statement was issued in Italy by foreign ministers from the Group of Seven, which represents like-minded, wealthy countries such as the United States and France.

The ministers condemn Iran for attacking Israel with missiles that were almost entirely shot down last weekend, and note reports that Israel is behind a drone attack on a major airbase in Iran earlier today.

The two countries have been in a proxy war for decades but Iran struck Israel directly for the first time Saturday in retaliation for what it believed was an Israeli attack on its embassy in Syria.

Canada, the U.S. and other countries had urged Israel not to fire back, but Israel’s government insisted it would attack Iran.

“In light of reports of strikes (this morning), we urge all parties to work to prevent further escalation,” Joly wrote on X.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is slated to speak with media in Victoria later today.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 19, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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