Defence Minister attends NATO Defence Ministers’ Meeting

News release

June 8, 2018 – Brussels, Belgium – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

NATO is a cornerstone of Canada’s international security policy and acts as a guarantor of security and safety for its member states. In the face of today’s unpredictable security environment, the Government of Canada remains committed to strengthening this trans-Atlantic Alliance and providing credible, value added contributions to its operations.

Today, The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, concluded two days of meetings with counterparts at NATO’s new headquarters in Brussels. The meetings provided defence ministers with an opportunity to address several key issues before the NATO Summit to be held in Brussels on July 11 and 12, 2018.

During the two day meeting, discussions focused on a number of themes, including burden sharing, reinforcement, readiness, the adapted NATO Command Structure and preparations for the launch of a NATO training and capacity-building mission in Iraq.

Minister Sajjan highlighted Canada’s multifaceted contributions to the Alliance, including Canada’s leading role in NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup in Latvia. The Minister also reiterated Canada’s commitment to a unified, stable and secure Iraq and underscored the importance of the NATO mission to complement the existing efforts of the Counter-Daesh Coalition.

While in Brussels, Minister Sajjan took the opportunity to hold meetings with several of his counterparts from the UK, France, Denmark, Ukraine, Australia and the Netherlands, as well as with Allies providing assistance to Ukraine. He also co-hosted, with his Latvian counterpart, a meeting of ministers from the nations contributing to the eFP Battlegroup in Latvia.

Following the NATO defence minister’s meeting, Minister Sajjan also attended a Defeat ISIS Defence Ministerial in Brussels.


“Our Government remains steadfast in its commitment to protecting the safety and security of our citizens and that of our Allies. Building upon its leadership role within the Alliance, Canada will continue to do its part to strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defence posture, while at the same time contributing to its efforts to project stability beyond its borders.”

— The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence

Quick facts

  • Alliance membership affords Canada an effective political-military instrument that helps it meet its strategic defence and security objectives at home, in North America and abroad. It also provides an important international forum in which to engage other nations in defence and security issues through NATO’s partnership programs.

  • Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has contributed to international security by conducting military missions and operations, including in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Libya. It has contributed to international efforts to confront the growing threat posed by emerging security challenges such as terrorism and cyber-attacks.

  • Operation REASSURANCE is the Canadian Armed Forces’ 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 NATO battlegroup in Latvia.

  • Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, will grow annual cash defence spending from $18.9 billion in 2016/17 to $32.7 billion in 2026/27 – an increase of over 70 percent. Total defence spending over 20 years will be $553 billion.

Associated links


Byrne Furlong
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-3100

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353
Toll-Free: 1-866-377-0811

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