Minister Sajjan Attends NATO Defence Minister’s Meeting and Defeat-ISIS Defence Ministerial in Brussels
November 9, 2017 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a cornerstone of Canada’s international security policy and is one of our most important relationships outside of North America. Canada is committed to continue playing a leading role in the Alliance.
Reaffirming the Canadian Government’s unwavering commitment to NATO, Minister Sajjan met with Allies during the NATO Defence Minister’s Meeting (DMM) and a subsequent Large Group Defeat-Islamic State in Iraq and Syria Defence Ministerial in Brussels, Belgium from November 8-9, 2017.
These meetings provided a forum for Allies to discuss: the current global threat environment; what more needs to be done to reinforce NATO’s deterrence; strengthening NATO’s maritime and cyber domains; NATO’s presence and engagement in the South of the Alliance; ways nations can continue to support Ukraine in their efforts to maintain their sovereignty and security; and the ongoing work being done by the Canadian-led multinational battlegroup in Latvia as part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP).
Building on commitments made at the Wales and Warsaw Summits, these meetings establish the NATO “roadmap” leading up to the next NATO Summit in 2018. They also provided an opportunity for Minister Sajjan to discuss Canada’s new defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, and how it exemplifies Canada’s resolute commitment to Alliance security and international cooperation.
Following these meetings, Minister Sajjan participated in the Large Group Defeat-ISIS Defence Ministerial. Chaired by U.S Secretary of Defence, James Mattis, this meeting provided an update on current military operations in Iraq and offered a forum for Ministers to discuss next steps following the fall of Daesh in Raqqa. The Canadian Government continues to work alongside the Coalition in degrading and dismantling Daesh while supporting regional stability.
On the margins of these discussions, Minister Sajjan co-hosted, with his Latvian counterpart, a meeting of the contributing nations to the Canadian-led eFP Battle Group in Latvia, where they discussed coordination of the Battle Group’s activities and related matters. Furthermore, Minister Sajjan had bilateral meetings with the defence Ministers from Albania, Belgium, France, Germany, Norway, Spain, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States and participated in a Quint meeting of the five principal nations currently providing assistance to Ukraine’s defence and security forces – Canada, Lithuania, Poland, United Kingdom, and the United States.
Before returning to Canada, Minister Sajjan will take part in events commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele at Tyne Cot Cemetery in Belgium.
“Standing shoulder to shoulder with our NATO and Coalition Allies, Canada will continue to put forward our expertise and leadership in pursuit of global peace and security. Through international engagements like NATO and the Coalition, Canada continues to demonstrate that we are both committed and capable when it comes to helping build a more peaceful and prosperous world.”
Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister
NATO is a cornerstone of Canada’s defence and security policy. Canada remains committed to providing credible, value-added contributions to NATO operations and to strengthening the Alliance in the face of today’s complex security environment.
Operation REASSURANCE is the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) support to NATO assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe. As part of Operation REASSURANCE, Canada has established its largest sustained military presence in Europe in over a decade by leading a multinational battlegroup in Latvia.
Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and Poland are the four host nations for NATO eFP battlegroups. Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States are the Framework Nations leading battlegroups. The Canadian-led battlegroup is composed of personnel from Albania, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Slovenia and Spain.
As announced on June 7, 2017, Canada’s new defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, makes significant investments in the CAF. Total defence spending over the next 20 years will be $553 billion.
Strong, Secure, Engaged affirms Canada’s unwavering commitment to NATO, NORAD, and Five Eyes partners.
Canada remains deeply committed to the fight against Daesh. On June 28, 2017, The Government of Canada announced that Canada is renewing its military contribution to the Global Coalition against Daesh until March 31, 2019. On October 30, Canada extended its military contribution and leadership of the Canadian-led Role 2 medical facility located in Erbil, Iraq until April 30, 2018 or until it is no longer needed.
Operation IMPACT is the CAF’s support to the Global Coalition against Daesh in Iraq and Syria. Under this mission, the CAF:
o conducts air operations;
o provides training, advice and assistance to the Iraqi security forces;
o helps regional forces build their capacity;
o provides medical services to Coalition forces; and,
o supports the Coalition with highly-skilled CAF members.
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Department of National Defence
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