Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Trudeau announces increased support for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

Trudeau announces increased support for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

"My task is to make sure that we stay together, so if I started to freely reflect on all possibilities, then I would undermine the unity of this alliance", Stoltenberg said.

Trudeau will be accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and Gen. Jonathan Vance, chief of the defence staff.

Also on Trudeau's agenda today: A mid-afternoon one-on-one with Swedish prime minister Stefan Lofven, but, according to his office, no similar get-together with Trump, although before leaving Latvia, he assured reporters before that he "looks forwards to having words" with the president.

Later in the day, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders issued an early final communique, in which they reaffirmed the alliance's "unwavering commitment" to see member states dedicate two per cent of GDP on defence spending by 2024, acknowledging growth in military and defence spending among many ally nations.

The launch of the mission was a more positive end to the first day of a summit that began with a barrage of broadsides from US President Donald Trump, who attacked Germany's role in a proposed new gas pipeline from Russian Federation, which he implied was a security risk for the West.

Trump took Twitter swipes at Canada following the G7 summit - mostly over Canadian dairy policy - but reserved his most persistent and personal attacks for Trudeau himself, calling him "dishonest" and "weak" for telling the closing G7 news conference that Canada would not be "pushed around" on trade.

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The prime minister is expected to use the extension to defend Canada from criticism from Trump that America's northern neighbour is not spending enough on defence.

German newspaper Bild am Sonntag quoted Stoltenberg as saying, "One and a half per cent is not two per cent".

Russia, NATO's most prominent rival, has bemoaned the possible addition of another alliance member — reviving Cold War-style tensions.

"I have a hard time accepting that any leader might do the kind of damage to his own auto industry that would happen if you were to bring in such a tariff on Canadian auto manufacturers given the integration of the parts supply chains, of the auto supply chains through the Canada-U.S. border", Trudeau said.

Eihenbaums said security is also a concern when it comes to trade - Latvia has been trying to grow its exports to Canada under the Canada-EU trade agreement. "We should not stop (the Latvian mission), probably we should go further because we have to think about the air, we have to think about the water, we have to think about the seas".

Note to readers: This is a corrected story.

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