Minister Sajjan attends Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore and concludes first visit by a Canadian Minister of Defence to Vietnam

News release

June 5, 2018, Vietnam — National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

As a Pacific nation, Canada is resolved to strengthen its relationships across the Asia-Pacific region, actively supporting the peace, security, and prosperity of Asia-Pacific nations, now and in the long term.

Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan today concluded a productive trip to Singapore and Vietnam. The trip included participation in this year’s International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) Asia Security Summit, commonly referred to as the Shangri-La Dialogue, which took place June 1-3, in Singapore. It also included the first official visit by a Canadian Minister of Defense to Hanoi, Vietnam, from June 4-5.

As the premier defence summit in Asia, the annual Shangri-La Dialogue provides a unique forum for ministers, officials, and representatives of more than 50 countries to come together and discuss security challenges in the region. Accordingly, this year’s Dialogue focused on Asia-Pacific development, emerging terrorist threats, regional security, and potential new avenues for defence cooperation. During the conference, Minister Sajjan underscored Canada’s commitment to preventing conflict and supporting stability in the Asia-Pacific region, in a speech titled De-Escalating the North Korea Crisis.

While in Singapore, Minister Sajjan also met with a number of regional counterparts to discuss key Asia-Pacific security issues.

Following this trip to Singapore, Minister Sajjan traveled to Vietnam where he met with high-ranking security and defence officials, including Minister of Defence, Ngo Xuan Lich, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pham Binh Minh, and President Tran Dai Quang.

This visit by Minister Sajjan was a chance to showcase our growing bilateral relations. It provided a valuable opportunity to deepen defence relations and explore enhanced cooperation in a number of areas, including peacekeeping, and maritime security. A highlight of that visit included the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) formalizing Vietnam’s participation in Canada’s Military Training and Cooperation Program. Vietnam has been a participant in the program since 2017.


“Canada’s relationship with its Asia-Pacific neighbors is a key priority. Conferences like the Shangri-La Dialogue are excellent opportunities to meet with my Asia-Pacific counterparts and discuss important defence-related issues facing the region. We look forward to building on these conversations and continuing to work alongside our partners in addressing the shared security and defence concerns affecting all Pacific nations.”

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence

Quick facts

  • The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) participates in several military exercises throughout the Asia-Pacific region to strengthen its defence relationships with key regional partners.

  • Minister Sajjan was joined at the Shangri-La Dialogue by Jody Thomas, Deputy Minister, Department of National Defence, Lieutenant-General Wayne D. Eyre of the Canadian Armed Forces – the recently appointed Deputy Commander Designate of United Nations Command (UNC) Korea – and Major-General Derek Joyce, Director General, International Security Policy, Department of National Defence. 

  • While at the conference, Deputy Minister Jody Thomas took part in a panel for women leaders that focused on the effects of new technology on defence policy, and also delivered opening remarks for the session entitled, ”Strategic Implications of Military Capability Development in the Asia-Pacific.”

  • Vietnam joined the Military and Training Cooperation Program (MTCP) in June 2017. Since then, 14 Vietnamese military personnel have participated in MTCP-sponsored courses.

  • The Military Training & Cooperation Program (MTCP) is a broad-based defence diplomacy program that advances Canada’s contribution to international peace and security. As a member of MTCP, Vietnam receives language training in English and French, peace support operations training, staff officer training, and military professional development training. 


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

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