Canada's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops will stay in Latvia for another four years - Trudeau

Evarado Alatorre
Julio 13, 2018

"We are prepared to continue supporting our allies, " the Canadian prime minister said.

While it was quite hot in Toronto during Trudeau's run on Thursday, the PM is no stranger to shirtless incidents, which the clothing company said may lead some to believe he is facing a shirt shortage.

Canada will extend its contribution to NATO's enhanced forward presence battalion, Trudeau added: "Our mission's current mandate ends in 2019".

The invitation Wednesday came at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit at which U.S. President Donald Trump demanded more military spending by some allegedly deadbeat allies, as countries like Canada and Britain committed more to new manpower than new money.

Trudeau made the announcement in Riga following a meeting with Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis and indicated that he hopes the increased Canadian commitment to Latvia gets the attention of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He called the extended mission of Canadian troops in Latvia "a great present" that will contribute significantly to national security. Members don't pay dues, although they do contribute to common military and civilian programs - and Washington pays nearly one-quarter of those costs.

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"When America spends three per cent plus of the world's biggest GDP on its armed forces - and the rest of the Western world scarcely two per cent, it's hard to dispute Trump's view that most of us have been keeping safe on the cheap", Mr Abbott says.

The intervening years saw Canada deploy fighter jets, surveillance planes and air-to-air refuellers, a transport aircraft, a medical hospital and hundreds more special forces to help the coalition and Kurdish and Iraqi military forces push ISIL back and eventually defeat it on the battlefield.

U.S. President Donald Trump and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg have latched onto the target as an important indicator of how much individual members are contributing to the alliance.

"My message is that we are actually now stepping up", Stoltenberg said. However, the increased commitment by the alliance in Iraq could be a major step in that direction.

Canada is expected to spend an estimated 1.23 per cent of its GDP on defence in 2018 - down from 1.36 per cent past year, says the annual report, which looks at military investments for all member states. Canada leads the mission, known as Operation Reassurance, which includes troops from Albania, the Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.

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