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Trudeau in Riga: Canada to extend Latvia mission by four years

14 July, 2018, 07:14 | Author: Lucille Rivera
  • Canada To Lead NATO Training Mission In Iraq

Ottawa has committed up to 250 Canadian troops and up to four Griffon helicopters to the mission, which includes a so-called "train the trainer" aspect to help the Iraqi army develop skills aimed at preventing the re-emergence of Islamic State militants and other threats to the country.

Trudeau made the announcement in Riga following a meeting with Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis and indicated that he hopes the increased Canadian commitment to Latvia gets the attention of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Estimates published on Tuesday showed that Portugal spent nearly €2.4 billion last year on defence and is expected to increase this to more than €2.7 billion or 1.36% of GDP this year.

The NATO Secretary General announced that in future the Alliance will be able to quickly transfer troops from the United States and Canada to Europe if necessary.

Former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer on Wednesday ripped The Washington Post for its attack on President Donald Trump's criticisms of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, saying the media would "slam the U.S." if it were the only nation not contributing 2 percent of its gross domestic product to the alliance for defense. The government is also adding about 80 more soldiers, bringing the total to around 530.

That will serve as the backdrop for the news that Canada is renewing the mission, the current three-year mandate for which is now run out on March 31, 2019, sources told The Canadian Press, speaking on condition of anonymity in order to discuss details not yet made public.

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The president will also be attending a pair of meetings of the North Atlantic Council before he departs for the United Kingdom. He said he briefed the president earlier this week about the indictments , but declined to describe Trump's reaction.

But any increases in military spending will not come as a result of pressure to do so from "people talking about a two per cent goal", he said when asked about Trump, but rather because of a desire to live up to the country's commitments to its military allies around the world.

The mission's activities have since been curtailed, and in some cases suspended, as a result of ISIL's defeat and ongoing fighting between some of the different Iraqi factions that Canada and its allies had been supporting.

"My message is that we are actually now stepping up", Stoltenberg said.

"My task is to make sure that we stay together, so if I started to freely reflect on all possibilities, then I would undermine the unity of this alliance", Mr. Stoltenberg said.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. And he said Canada has promised to reverse a decline in military resources with an eye towards the two per cent target.


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