Canada stresses its "unwavering commitment to the Alliance and the transatlantic bond"

Canada says it is contributing to stability abroad and helping maintain security at home. As outlined in Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, cooperative defence relationships are critical to every aspect of Canada’s defence interests. 

"Whether working alongside our Allies and partners in NATO and the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS or engaging in multilateral discussions on the future of international security policy, Canada is contributing to stability abroad and helping maintain security at home."

Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan was speaking after he wrapped up a four-day trip to Europe, which began with his attendance at the NATO Defence Ministers’ meeting in Brussels on February 13 and 14. He then travelled to Munich on February 15 to participate in a meeting of Defence Ministers from the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, as well as attend the Munich Security Conference.

At the two-day NATO Defence Ministerial in Brussels, discussions focused on deterrence and defence posture, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, NATO operations and missions, European defence cooperation, and burden sharing. 

During the meeting, the Minister reiterated Canada’s unwavering commitment to the Alliance and the transatlantic bond. He also underlined Canada’s leadership on key NATO missions like the enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup and NATO Mission – Iraq. Minister Sajjan also co-hosted, alongside Latvia’s recently appointed Minister of Defence Artis Pabriks, a meeting of nations contributing forces to the Canada-led eFP Battlegroup in Latvia.

While in Brussels, the Minister also chaired a Quint meeting of the five key nations providing assistance to Ukraine’s defence and security forces – Canada, Lithuania, Poland, United Kingdom, and the United States, along with the Ukrainian Minister of Defence. Minister Sajjan reaffirmed Canada’s steadfast support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and security in the face of Russian aggression.

Following the meeting in Brussels, Minister Sajjan met with his counterparts from main force contributors to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS in Munich. Co-hosted by the United States and Germany, the Coalition took stock of recent developments in the region.

Following the D-ISIS meeting, the Minister will attend the Munich Security Conference on February 15 and 16, one of the world’s leading international defence and security-related fora. The Conference brings together more than 450 senior decision makers annually from across the globe to debate and discuss the international community’s most pressing security challenges. 

Harjit S. Sajjan said, “In the face of today’s rapidly changing and unpredictable security environment, Canada is maintaining and strengthening the transatlantic bond by providing real contributions to NATO. We will continue to do our part on the interna­tional stage to protect our interests and support our allies. As a founding member of NATO, Canada has demonstrated its dedication to and active leadership in the Alliance, and will continue to do so for years to come.”

  • During his trip to Europe, Minister Sajjan held a number of bilateral meetings with Allies, partners, and stakeholders. This included discussions with the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Latvia, Romania, Croatia, Poland and North Macedonia.
  • Canada is proud to have contributed to every NATO operation since the founding of the Alliance more than six decades ago. On April 4, Canada will join other NATO countries in celebrating the 70th anniversary of the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty, which laid the foundation for the Alliance.
  • Canada has extended its contribution to NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) to March 2023. Canada will continue to lead NATO’s eFP Battlegroup Latvia as the Framework Nation and will also increase the number of Canadian Armed Forces members taking part in this mission from 455 to 540.
  • In July 2018, Prime Minister Trudeau announced Canada would assume the command of a new NATO training and capacity building mission in Iraq for one year, starting in November 2018. This leadership role will complement Canada’s existing efforts in the global coalition and Canada’s ongoing commitments towards creating a safe and stable Iraq.
  • Under Operation UNIFIER, the Canadian Armed Forces has trained more than 10,000 Ukrainian service members to be self-sufficient in their training delivery and in the conduct of military operations.
  • Established in September 2014, the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS consists of 79 members comprising 74 nations and five organisations, including NATO.

Image: Canadian troops parade in Kyiv, Ukraine

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