Canada will lead new North Atlantic Treaty Organisation training mission in Iraq, Trudeau says

Canada To Lead NATO Training Mission In Iraq

Once deployed, the Canadian troops will be stationed in Baghdad and the neighboring cities of Besmaya and Taji where they will deliver training on "explosive threat search" and "manual minefield breaching", the statement said.

Meanwhile, Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis said that this decision by the Canadian side "is the ideal gift to Latvia on its centenary".

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his country is offering to lead NATO's new military training mission in Iraq for the first year and stands ready to provide 250 troops plus helicopters for the effort.

"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". Germany leads a similar force in Lithuania, Britain leads one in Estonia and the USA leads in Poland.

Stoltenberg acknowledged that there are still many disagreements within North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, soon after President Donald Trump reiterated his complaint that most North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member-states are still far from the goal of devoting 2 percent of their GDP to military spending.

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

"At the end of the day, however, I know that the relations between the United States and Canada militarily are going to continue to be superb".

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This month marks the one-year anniversary of the mission, which is up for renewal in 2019.

"Since NATO's creation in 1949, Canada has played a strong and active role in missions to advance peace and security for our citizens and people around the world".

Without those costs, Canada's reported defence spending would have been around one per cent of GDP. He said the 29-nation alliance supports the territorial integrity of Georgia, including its sovereignty over the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Canada's contribution will help build security capacity and improve democratic governance.

"Canada had been also under-investing and neglecting its military investments".

"My message is that we are actually now stepping up", Stoltenberg said. "We should not stop (the Latvian mission), probably we should go further because we have to think about the air, we have to think about the water, we have to think about the seas". Members don't pay dues, although they do contribute to common military and civilian programs - and Washington pays nearly one-quarter of those costs.

Trudeau will be accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and Gen. Jonathan Vance, chief of the defence staff.

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