World

Canada's new foreign minister expresses strong support for Israel during his first visit

  • Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and Canada's Foreign Minister Robert Douglas Nicholson, arrive to deliver statements after their meeting in Jerusalem Wednesday, June 3, 2015. (Ammar Awad/Pool Photo via AP)

    Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and Canada's Foreign Minister Robert Douglas Nicholson, arrive to deliver statements after their meeting in Jerusalem Wednesday, June 3, 2015. (Ammar Awad/Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, and Canada's Foreign Minister Robert Douglas Nicholson, shake hands after their meeting in Jerusalem Wednesday, June 3, 2015. (Ammar Awad/Pool Photo via AP)

    Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, and Canada's Foreign Minister Robert Douglas Nicholson, shake hands after their meeting in Jerusalem Wednesday, June 3, 2015. (Ammar Awad/Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Canada's new foreign minister is in Israel on a visit to show what he calls his country's "unwavering support" for the Jewish state.

Robert Douglas Nicholson's visit comes at a time when Israel faces increasing international criticism over its policies and the deadlock in peace talks with the Palestinians.

Last week, Israel fended off a Palestinian attempt to expel it from FIFA. On Tuesday, President Barack Obama told an Israeli TV station that the world is skeptical about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's commitment to peace.

Nicholson told Netanyahu on Wednesday that "we understand that Israel's neighborhood is as dangerous as Canada's is peaceful."

Canada and Israel are close allies. Nicholson was appointed foreign minister in February. He is meeting with both Israeli and Palestinian officials during his three-day visit.