Published: Fri, July 13, 2018

Canada pledges support to Latvia's security

Canada pledges support to Latvia's security

Last year, the Government of Canada unveiled Strong, Secure, Engaged - a comprehensive, ambitious, once-in-a-generation defence policy which includes historic new funding for Canada's military.

The troops will be deployed to Baghdad and the surrounding area, along with up to four Griffon helicopters to support North Atlantic Treaty Organisation activities. "We will also help set up military schools, to increase the professionalism of Iraqi forces", Mr. Stoltenberg said during a speech ahead of this week's alliance ministerial.

"I look forward to having words with President Trump, having a conversation with him, as I always do", the prime minister told reporters Tuesday following a whirlwind visit to Latvia, where Canada has 455 troops deployed as part of NATO's Operation Reassurance.

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.

Trump's "America First" policies have exposed major differences between the USA and many parts of Europe on issues as diverse as climate change, trade and tariff policies, and the Iran nuclear deal that the US leader has rejected.

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 US is spending many times more than any other country in order to protect them", Trump tweeted on Wednesday.

"Will they reimburse the US?"

"We certainly hope that Russian Federation will choose to become a more positive actor in world affairs than it has chosen to be in the past".

France, meanwhile, is expected to pledge this week that it will meet the two per cent spending target within the next seven years, while Germany says it will reach 1.5 per cent of GDP by 2024. And we should understand that despite the fact that the Cold war ended and there was a significant reduction of the military presence of the U.S. and Canada to Europe (the last battle tank United States of America in 2013 left Europe), is now being moved to Europe armored brigade!

He wants them to earmark four per cent of their annual GDP for their defence budgets - double the current target of two per cent.

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