Canada offers to lead new North Atlantic Treaty Organisation operation in Iraq

Elias Hubbard
July 12, 2018

New figures show that Canadian military spending will be cut significantly, even as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prepares to face U.S. President Donald Trump's demands for higher North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military spending at the alliance's summit in Brussels.

"Canada knows that a peaceful world, a more democratic world is good for Canada, is good for all of us and that's why we believe so deeply in NATO, that's why we stand so strongly with the trans-Atlantic alliance, and we'll continue to step up everywhere we can", said Trudeau.

"This is a moment for us to stand together and understand that the perspective that we fight for and stand for is essential today and tomorrow".

Trudeau said the Canadian contingent would grow to 540 and stay on for another four years after its current mission ends in 2019.

U.S. President Donald Trump listens as he sits beside Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the G-7 summit in the Charlevoix city of La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada, on June 8, 2018.

"Our presence there (Latvia) is a very meaningful, strong important contribution and this new contribution ... it's another sign of Canada stepping up".

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders are expected to announce later Wednesday that the alliance is stepping up its troop training and military academy building effort in Iraq, with hundreds of trainers operating out of the capital, Baghdad.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said the Iraq mission is about giving Iraqi security forces the right training so they can "deal with and prevent" the rise of groups, such as ISIS.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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