RAMALLAH, West Bank, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Canada's foreign minister was the target of angry demonstrators throwing eggs at his motorcade Sunday as he visited with a Palestinian official in the West Bank.
Foreign Minister John Baird was meeting with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki in Ramallah as part of a five-day trip to the region. Carrying signs reading "Baird you are not welcome in Palestine," protesters gathered outside the meeting and threw shoes and eggs at the Canadian foreign minister as he was escorted to a vehicle in his convoy. Baird was not struck.
"I've had a lot worse," Baird told CBC News after making reference to his time under Ontario's premier in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Canada is seen as one of Israel's closest allies, being one of the few nations to vote against Palestine's United Nations bid to become a non-member state in 2012, as well as the recent attempt by Palestine to join the International Criminal Court.
Baird said his discussions with Malki were "cordial and constructive" and included "candid and frank exchanges on areas where we differ in opinion." Baird said he asked Malki to "strongly reconsider the consequences of moving forward with any action that may be counterproductive to a negotiated solution with the state of Israel."
Baird later met with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in Jerusalem, where he called the ICC decision "deeply regrettable."
Lieberman thanked Canada for its support and noted that "opposition of one of the founders of the ICC is very important, maybe crucial."
"We regret the Canadian government's decision to stand on the wrong side of history by blindly supporting the Israeli occupation and its apartheid policies," Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said in a statement, according to the BBC.