Canada PM insists will withdraw jets against ISIL
US President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (L) shake hands during their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Manila on November 19, 2015. AFP PhotoNew Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held his first formal meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama on Nov. 19 and insisted on withdrawing its fighter jets fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
“I made a clear commitment to Canadians to withdraw the six fighter jets,” Trudeau said on the sidelines of a trade summit in Manila, referring to the six Canadian jets that have been attacking the militants in Iraq and Syria, Reuters reported.
Diplomats say the U.S. and U.K. have expressed concern about the proposed withdrawal, saying it could undermine the coalition.
Trudeau added he had reassured President Obama that Canada was committed to the U.S.-led campaign against the ISIL militants.
“Canada will and must remain a strong member of the coalition,” Trudeau said on the sidelines of a trade summit in Manila, Agence France-Presse reported.
Canada, he says, could contribute more effectively by training Kurdish troops in northern Iraq.
Canada last year deployed 69 military trainers to northern Iraq to train Kurdish militia, as well as six CF-18 fighter jets that have conducted 1,121 sorties in Iraq and Syria as of November 15.
“There is much that Canada can do and Canada will continue to work with our coalition partners to ensure that we’re doing what we can, including militarily, to degrade and defeat ISIL over the long haul.”
The two leader tried to repair relations that have become frayed over the last decade.
“I’m confident that he’s going to be able to provide a great boost of energy and reform to the Canadian political landscape,” Obama told reporters after the two talked on the margins of an Asia-Pacific summit.
In last month’s election, Trudeau’s Liberals defeated Stephen Harper, who had irritated the Obama administration by insisting it approve the Keystone XL pipeline that would have taken tar sands oil from Canada to U.S. refineries.
Obama, whose ties with Harper were usually frosty, said he hoped Trudeau would be able to visit him in the White House early next year for more substantial talks.