Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan Advances Defence Priorities in Europe
February 15, 2018 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
Canada is committed to lasting peace and security, both at home and abroad. Whether it is a commitment to the elimination of Daesh, solidifying Canada’s relationship with its NATO Allies and partners, or being at the forefront of discussions on international security policy, Canada will continue to work with the international community to ensure the protection of rights and freedoms for all.
Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan today concluded two of three rounds of meetings in Europe. The Minister participated in a meeting of the Defence Ministers from the main force contributors to the Global Coalition against Daesh, and in Brussels, at the NATO Defence Ministerial Meeting. Next he will be attending the annual Munich Security Conference in Germany.
In Rome on February 13, Minister Sajjan highlighted Canada’s ongoing commitment to the Global Coalition against Daesh, and to working with allies and partners to set the conditions for long-term security and stability in the Middle East region. Defence Ministers discussed next steps, as well as other regional defence and security challenges.
While in Brussels from February 14-15, Minister Sajjan participated in the NATO Defence Ministerial Meeting, alongside other NATO Allies and partners. Discussions focused on Alliance modernization, burden sharing, NATO-European Union defence cooperation, NATO’s work on strengthening its deterrence and defence posture, and its efforts to project stability beyond its borders. Minister Sajjan highlighted Canada’s commitment to NATO and working with NATO Allies to actively maintain and strengthen the transatlantic bond. The Minister also reiterated Canada’s participation in helping NATO secure stability in Europe and the Mediterranean. As well, he co-hosted a meeting of ministers from countries contributing forces to the enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battle Group in Latvia. Minister Sajjan also held bilateral meetings with several of his counterparts.
Minister Sajjan took the opportunity while at NATO to emphasize the numerous contributions Canada is making toward securing international peace and security. Canada is undertaking its largest sustained military presence in Europe in more than 30 years, through leading the multinational NATO battlegroup in Latvia; and maintaining a frigate in European waters, under the NATO flag. Furthermore, Canada announced it is rejoining NATO’s Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) program.
In addition, Minister Sajjan signed a letter signaling Canada’s intent to join the Maritime Multi-Missions Aircraft (M3A) forum, along with other Allied nations, to share force development resources and knowledge, in the pursuit of maritime patrol aircraft recapitalization.
On February 16-17, following the meetings in Rome and Brussels, Minister Sajjan will attend the annual, global Munich Security Conference, one of the foremost global forums on international security. While in Munich, the Minister will participate in discussions on cyber security and intelligence sharing, as well as on demographic change, diversity, and implications for the Armed Forces.
“Our Government has always underscored the importance of working together with our Allies and partners, to build a safer and more peaceful world for all of us. Many of the threats we face today are interlinked and know no borders, which is why Canada is committed to working with the international community and multilateral institutions, to address them collectively.”
– Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister
While in Rome, Minister Sajjan met with Italy’s Minister of Defence Roberta Pinotti, and discussed mutual defence priorities, including their ongoing collaboration as part of NATO’s eFP Battlegroup in Latvia, and their support of the Global Coalition against Daesh. Minister Sajjan also attended a breakfast hosted by the Aspen Institute Italia, delivered opening remarks, and participated in a question and answer session with key stakeholders interested in women, peace, and security issues.
In Brussels, Minister Sajjan met with his counterparts from Romania, the Czech Republic, Montenegro, Croatia, Estonia, and Canada’s Allies and partners working to support the Ukrainian people, and Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity The Minister also met with NATO Secretary General, Jens Soltenberg, and NATO’s Women, Peace and Security Representative, Clare Hutchinson.
The investments in Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, decisively reverses Canada’s declining defence spending. Under this policy, annual defence spending will increase from $18.9 billion in 2016/17 to $32.7 billion in 2026/27.
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Department of National Defence
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