Canada will take on a leadership role within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to support the alliance’s presence in Eastern and Central Europe.
“As a responsible partner in the world, Canada stands side by side with its NATO Allies working to deter aggression and assure peace and stability in Europe,” Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said Thursday. “I am tremendously proud that we are taking a leadership role as a NATO Framework Nation. I know our men and women in uniform will represent the best that Canada has to offer.”
— Harjit Sajjan (@HarjitSajjan) June 30, 2016
Sajjan and Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion made the announcement a day after United States President Barack Obama’s address before Parliament during the North American Leaders’ Summit. In his speech, the American president praised Canada but also urged the government to contribute its full share” to NATO.
“Canada is stepping up and playing a leadership role in NATO in support of Euro-Atlantic peace and security,” Dion said in a statement. “The alliance remains a cornerstone of our collective defence and our commitment to a rules-based multilateral order.”
As one of four framework nations of NATO, Canada will establish and lead a rotational multinational NATO battlegroup which will contribute to NATO’s “enhanced forward presence” in Eastern and Central Europe along with the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, a press release from the defence department said.
Additional details of the Canadian Armed Forces’ contribution will be announced at the upcoming NATO Summit, which will take place in Warsaw, Poland, on 8-9 July 2016.
The announcement was received positively by the NATO leadership:
Thank you, Canada. All four battalions for #NATO‘s east now have a lead nation.Thanks also to GER, UK & US. Strong transatlantic commitment.