Minister of National Defence and Minister of Foreign Affairs Attend NATO Ministerial

(No. 335 - October 15, 2010 - 3:30 p.m. ET) The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, participated in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Joint Ministerial on October 14 in Brussels, Belgium. The event brought together foreign and defence ministers, who meet on a bi-annual basis, from Allied nations to discuss NATO reform, the new Strategic Concept, European missile defence and the importance of developing good cooperation with Russia.

“Canada is proud to remain a strong partner in the NATO alliance,” said Minister MacKay. “Along with our allies, we are undertaking unprecedented institutional reforms, identifying important military capabilities for the future, and institutionalizing a comprehensive approach for NATO operations. Canada is actively working with our Allies on all these fronts to ensure that the Alliance continues to meet our security and defence needs.”

“With the Strategic Concept review under way, this meeting provided an excellent opportunity for NATO allies to discuss how the organization can transform itself to ensure it is well equipped to manage the security challenges of today and tomorrow,” said Minister Cannon. “Part of this transformation includes identifying means by which NATO can further enhance dialogue and cooperation with its partners. Canada values NATO’s network of partnerships; the global security challenges we face today make extending regional security through partnerships increasingly important.”

Canada was a founding member of the Alliance in 1949 and since its inception has been the sixth-largest contributor to NATO’s military and civil budgets. As a part of the UN-mandated, NATO-led effort, Canada is in Afghanistan at the request of the democratically elected government of Afghanistan to help build a free, democratic and self-sufficient society.

NATO nations will meet at the level of heads of state and government in Lisbon, Portugal, on November 19-20, 2010.

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