Eastern Canada

Defense Minister Sajjan Suprise Visits Troops In Europe And The Middle East

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December 20, 2019 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Canada is dedicated to strengthening its multilateral efforts to make the world more just, safe, prosperous, and sustainable. Those who wear the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) uniform support this commitment by working tirelessly to defend Canada and promote Canadian values and interests at home and abroad. 

Minister Sajjan along with Members of Parliament James Bezan and Michel Boudrias, today completed a successful trip to Italy and Kuwait. While abroad, they witnessed Commodore Josée Kurtz of the Royal Canadian Navy transfer command of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) to Rear-Admiral Paolo Fantoni of the Italian Navy on December 16, 2019. Minister Sajjan held town hall events with CAF members in Italy and Kuwait to thank them for their service and professionalism, especially over the holiday period, when they are far from home and their loved ones.

During their visit to Italy, the Minister and the two Members of Parliament visited the Cassino War Cemetery, the Price of Peace Monument, and the Moro River Canadian War Cemetery, where they laid wreaths and paid their respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. While in Kuwait, the Minister met with Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Prime Minister of Kuwait, and Ahmad Mansour Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense for Kuwait, to discuss mutual defence priorities. He also met with Ulrich Shannon, Canada’s Ambassador to Iraq and Louis-Pierre Emond, Canada’s Ambassador to Kuwait, to discuss the continued threat posed by Daesh and discuss Coalition and NATO operations in Iraq.  Minister Sajjan also received briefings from Brigadier-General Michel-Henri St-Louis, the Commander of Joint-Task Force Impact, and Major-General Jennie Carignan, the Commander of NATO  Mission Iraq (NMI), to learn more about the progress of both missions and Canada’s capacity-building activities in Jordan and Lebanon. 


“For all of those who wear the Canadian Armed Forces uniform, and their families, I want to thank them for their service to our country. The work all of you do, every day, protects Canadians, strengthens human rights and shows our friends and allies that we will stand shoulder to shoulder with them. To those who serve and their families, Merry Christmas, happy holidays and all the best over this holiday season.” 

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence