Secretary General Praises Canada’s NATO Contributions In Visit To Ottawa


Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited Ottawa on Wednesday (19 June 2024) to meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and discuss final preparations for the Washington Summit in July. 

The Secretary General delivered a speech at an event hosted by the NATO Association of Canada and the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association. He praised Canada for its role in strengthening NATO’s deterrence and defence, including in Latvia, where Canadian troops lead a multinational battlegroup. He also paid tribute to the Canadian armed forces for their commitment, skill, and professionalism and welcomed Canada’s indispensable support in the face of Russia’s aggression, noting Canada has provided “billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine including air defence systems, battle tanks, and F-16 pilot training.” He underscored that strong support to Ukraine will be “the most urgent” priority for the Washington Summit.

Mr Stoltenberg welcomed that Canada is increasing defence spending, “and will add billions over the coming years, including by purchasing high end new capabilities, modernising NORAD, and by investing in fifth generation F35 aircraft.” He added:  “I continue to expect that all Allies SHOULD meet the guidelines of spending two percent. I know that this is not always easy … but when we reduce defence spending when tensions are going down, we must be able to increase spending, investments in our security, when tensions are increasing and are high as they are today.”

Canada has long prioritised global partnerships and the Secretary General highlighted these as another priority for the Alliance ahead of its 75th anniversary Summit. “The war in Ukraine demonstrates that our security is not regional, our security is global,” he emphasised, adding that “the growing alignment between Russia and its authoritarian friends in Asia makes it even more important that we work closely with our friends in the Indo-Pacific.”

At the event, the Secretary General was presented with the Louis St. Laurent Award for his “outstanding service to peace and security”. The honour is named for Canadian Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent, who was premier at the time of NATO’s founding in 1949, and a strong proponent of the Alliance.

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