Mattis, Canadian Defense Minister Meet at Pentagon
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis hosted Canada’s Minister of National Defense Harjit Sajjan at the Pentagon today, Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said in a statement.
It was Mattis’ first time hosting a defense counterpart as secretary of defense, Davis said.
Mattis and Sajjan reaffirmed the U.S.-Canada defense relationship, emphasizing their commitments to the North American Aerospace Defense Command and continental defense, and agreeing to deepen cooperation to protect North America, noting that 2018 will be NORAD’s 60th anniversary, Davis said.
Mattis addressed enhancing North American defense relations and the North American Defense Ministerial, which he offered to host this spring in Washington, D.C.
International Priorities, Operations
The secretary and Sajjan also discussed international priorities and operations, as well as the upcoming NATO Defense Ministerial, Davis said. The secretary and the Canadian defense minister discussed U.S. and Canadian leadership as framework nations for enhanced forward presence, members of the international counter-Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant coalition, and support for United Nations peacekeeping, the spokesman said.
Mattis thanked Canada for its commitments to NATO and the counter-ISIL campaign, and agreed to continued discussions with Canada and other coalition members on the progress of the U.S. counter-ISIL strategy review, Davis said.
The secretary and Sajjan also discussed the importance of defense investments and modernization to ensure continued cooperation, the spokesman said.
Mattis commended Sajjan for his consistent leadership, noting the need for both the U.S. and Canada to continue to represent their shared values and advance security, prosperity, and freedom, Davis said.
The two leaders also noted the long relationship between the U.S. military and Canadian armed forces and stated they looked forward to deepening the U.S.-Canada relationship and continuing to work closely together, the spokesman said.