Defence Minister Sajjan concludes visit to Brussels for meetings with NATO officials

News release

January 14, 2020 – Brussels, Belgium – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Canada remains steadfast in its commitment to NATO and the Alliance’s important role in international security and defence. In today’s complex and evolving security environment, Canada remains devoted to strengthening the Alliance and helping to build a safer, more secure world.

Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan today concluded his visit to Brussels where he participated in discussions with NATO’s Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, and Deputy Secretary General, Mircea Geoana, regarding the situation in Iraq, NATO Mission Iraq (NMI) and other important issues, such as the upcoming Defence Ministerial in February. He also met with Denmark’s Minister of Defence, Trine Bramsen, to discuss NMI. Denmark will take over command of the mission at the end of 2020.   

Canada is a committed member of NATO and is leading on several efforts within the Alliance, including command of NATO Mission Iraq and leading a multinational battle group in Latvia. Canada also recently transferred command of the Standing NATO Maritime Group Two to Italy and completed a deployment of an Air Task Force with NATO’s enhanced Air Policing mission in Romania.

Quotes

“NATO is a cornerstone of Canada’s international security policy. We are committed to helping build a stable Iraq and preventing the re-emergence of Daesh. During today’s meeting with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Danish Defence Minister Trine Bramsen, we discussed the current situation in Iraq and steps towards de-escalation. We look forward to continuing our work in Iraq with our partners, when the situation allows.”

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

Quick facts

  • Major-General Jennie Carignan of the Canadian Armed Forces, currently commands NATO Mission Iraq (NMI), a non-combat, advisory and training mission designed to help build more effective and sustainable Iraqi defence and security institutions. It is founded on partnership and inclusivity as well as on full respect for Iraq’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity. It aims to assist Iraq in strengthening its military schools and institutions and advancing Security Sector Reform. Given recent developments in the area, training activities in Iraq are currently paused as a precautionary measure in order to prioritize the safety of deployed personnel.

  • Denmark has announced that it will take over command of NATO mission Iraq from Canada at the end of 2020.

  • NATO membership affords Canada an effective political-military instrument to 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 on defence and security issues through NATO’s partnership programs.

Associated links

Contacts

Todd Lane
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Defence
(613) 996-3100
Email: Todd.lane@forces.gc.ca

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-904-3333
Toll-Free: 1-866-377-0811
Email: mlo-blm@forces.gc.ca


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