Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Sajjan's Statement Following Meeting with SoD Mattis

Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan today issued the following readout after his first meeting with new U.S. Secretary of Defense, James Mattis:

"Today I had the pleasure of meeting with U.S. Secretary of Defence James Mattis. The warm, cordial tone of the discussion reflects the long-standing, close partnership between Canada and the United States, particularly when it comes to defence and security. "The close defence relationship between our two nations provides both countries with greater security in North America and contributes to peace and stability in the world in increasingly complex and uncertain times.

"With 2018 marking the 60th anniversary of NORAD, I was pleased to highlight the importance of this unique partnership and its success in protecting North America, and we looked forward to working together on its modernization. Secretary Mattis and I also discussed multilateral issues, including our pledges to lead battle groups in support of NATO's enhanced forward presence in Eastern Europe, our commitments to the United Nations and the Summit of Defence Ministers that Canada will host later this year. We discussed our training missions in both Ukraine and Iraq and the work being done by the Global Coalition to degrade and defeat Daesh. I also took the opportunity to discuss Canada's Defence Policy Review.

"We discussed Canada’s decision to launch an open and transparent competition to replace our legacy fleet of CF-18 fighter aircraft, and to explore the immediate acquisition of 18 new Super Hornet fighter aircraft as an interim capability. I expressed my appreciation to the secretary for the support and cooperation of the US Government in these processes.

"Secretary Mattis and I pledged to work closely together and look forward to our next meeting at the upcoming NATO defence ministerial later this month. "I want to thank Secretary Mattis and Pentagon officials for the warm welcome in Washington and look forward to hosting Secretary Mattis in Canada."

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