In today’s complex and evolving security environment, Canada remains devoted to strengthening relationships with our partners in the Middle East to help build a safer, more secure world.
Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan completed a visit to the Middle East yesterday. While in Kuwait, Minister Sajjan met with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense for Kuwait, his Excellency Ahmad Mansour Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and discussed the situation in Iraq and the region, as well as opportunities to increase regional peace and stability. He also thanked Kuwait for their ongoing support to Canada’s operational support hub.
Minister Sajjan also met with Brigadier-General Michel-Henri St-Louis and senior leadership of Joint Task Force IMPACT. He was briefed about the current situation in Iraq by Canada’s ambassador to Iraq, Ulric Shannon, Major-General Jennie Carignan, Commander NATO Mission Iraq, and Brigadier-General Chris Ayotte, from Combined Joint Task-Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.
Following a meeting with his Majesty King Abdullah of Jordan at NATO, Minister Sajjan met with the Jordanian Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Major-General Yousef Al-Hnaity with whom he had a productive exchange on the ongoing regional situation, women, peace and security, and Canada’s continued cooperative relationship with Jordan. He visited the Jordan Border Road Project, which increases border security.
Minister Sajjan also met with members of the international community to discuss steps that can be taken toward de-escalation. While in the Middle East, the Minister met with troops posted on Operation IMPACT in both Kuwait and Jordan. Minister Sajjan reiterated Canada’s commitment to continuing the training and capacity building mission in Iraq when the situation allows, to prevent the re-emergence of Daesh.
“Our focus remains on the safety of Canadian troops in the Middle East. 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.”
– The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence
Operation IMPACT is the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) contribution to the US-led Global Coalition against Daesh and NATO Mission Iraq (NMI). Under Operation IMPACT, the CAF provides training, advice, and assistance to Iraqi security forces, provides capacity building capabilities to regional forces, conducts air operations, and supports the Global Coalition with highly skilled personnel.
Major-General Jennie Carignan of the Canadian Armed Forces, currently commands NATO Mission Iraq (NMI), a non-combat, advisory and training mission designed to help build more effective and sustainable Iraqi defence and security institutions. It is founded on partnership and inclusivity as well as on full respect for Iraq’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity. It aims to assist Iraq in strengthening its military schools and institutions and advancing Security Sector Reform.
Canada has up to 850 members of the Canadian Armed Forces from the Regular and Reserve Forces deployed in four countries – Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Kuwait – on Op IMPACT.
Given recent developments in the area, some training activities in Iraq are currently paused as a precautionary measure in order to prioritize the safety of deployed personnel.