Mr. Speaker, the Middle East peace process is much like a long journey, waiting for that small first step in order to begin. Yet such as step is there for the taking.
This week marks the fifth anniversary of Israeli airman Ron Arad's joining the ranks of soldiers missing in action. He is not alone. There are a host of other MIAs who have been awaiting release since 1982. Their families have been calling for their liberation but to little avail.
It is time that their captors heeded the expressions of concern on their behalf forwarded by the global community and, in particular, by Canada. On a humanitarian basis, their release is long overdue. Moreover, such action would contribute substantially to peace initiatives since the release of MIAs would represent a powerful confidence building measure.
From a social and political perspective the return of MIAs makes sense. Canada should generate a chorus of like minded countries to urge Iran, Syria and others capable of affecting the repatriation of MIAs to act without delay.