With rising tensions in the Middle East, Canada intends to remain devoted to strengthening relationships with partners in the region, to work on building a safer and more secure environment.
On January 18th, 2020, Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan completed a visit to the Middle East. During his visit, the Defence Minister met with Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, Ahmad Mansour Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. They discussed the current situation in Iraq and the Middle East, as well as methods to work on increasing regional peace and stability. Minister Sajjan thanked Kuwait for their continuous support.
During his visit, the Defence Minister also met with Brigadier-General Michel-Henri St-Louis and senior leadership of Joint Task Force IMPACT.
Canada’s ambassador to Iraq, Ulric Shannon, briefed Minister Sajjan of the current situation, along with Major-General Jennie Carignan, Commander NATO Mission Iraq, and Brigadier-General Chris Ayotte, from Combined Joint Task-Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.
Minister Sajjan also met with Majesty King Abdullah of Jordan at NATO, as well as the Jordanian Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Major-General Yousef Al-Hnaity.
These meetings presented a chance to discuss the ongoing regional situation, women, peace, and security, as well as Canada’s continued cooperative relationship with Jordan.
The Defence Minister spoke on his visit upon returning to Canada.
“Our focus remains on the safety of Canadian troops in the Middle East,” he said. “When the situation allows, we will resume our training mission in Iraq to help counter Daesh. Meeting with partners in the region allows us to continue discussions regarding next steps toward de-escalation while remaining focused on increasing peace and stability.”
Operation IMPACT is the Canadian Armed Forces’ contribution to the US-led Global Coalition against Daesh. Under this Operation, deployed members of the CAF provide training, advice, and assistance to Iraqi security forces.
Canada has up to 850 members of the Canadian Armed Forces from the Regular and Reserve Forces deployed across Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Kuwait for this Operation. While meeting the troops posted on Operation IMPACT in both Kuwait and Jordan, the Minister reiterated Canada’s commitment to continue the training and capacity building mission in Iraq when the situation allows, in order to prevent the re-emergence of Daesh.
Above Image: Minister of National Defence of Canada, the Honourable Harjit Sajjan is being briefed on the status of Joint Task Force-IMPACT (JTF-I) and the Canadian Armed Forces’ presence in the Middle East by JTF-I Commander, Brigadier-General Michel-Henri St-Louis and members of JTF-I’s leadership team, during a visit of Camp Canada at Ali Al Salem Air Base in Kuwait on January 16, 2020. Photo: Cpl Jerome Lessard,