North Atlantic Treaty Organisation approves training mission in Iraq, new command structure

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation approves training mission in Iraq, new command structure”

Asked about Canada's failure to achieve the 2% GDP defence investment spending as set out in NATO's aims at the 2014 Wales summit, Trudeau said that the aim was fairly "primitive" and that current modernisation and extension efforts of the Canadian military are sufficient.

Meanwhile, Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis said that this decision by the Canadian side "is the flawless gift to Latvia on its centenary". But Trudeau appeared to be far from Trump's orbit during the traditional gathering of leaders for the NATO family photo op and ceremony, standing quietly to the side as Trump chatted with Britain's Theresa May, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel.

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.

But the Canadian initiative may also be a move to stifle U.S. President Donald Trump's assertion that his country is carrying too much of the load of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and he wants the other 28 members to contribute more.

"The Trump-Putin summit could potentially aggravate USA allies who want to isolate Putin", said Jayson Derow, a research analyst at the NATO Association of Canada.

"Canada has committed to providing up to 250 troops to the mission", it added, noting that the "program focuses on the train-the-trainer approach, aiming for the" Iraqi security forces "to be self-sufficient in the long term".

Canada argues it has increased its defence spending, with a 10-year commitment to grow funding for defence, which will see $32.7 billion in annual increases.

The training mission, in the works for at least two years, will be commanded by a Canadian major-general, and Canadian troops will provide the bulk of the headquarters staff.

Last year, the Government of Canada unveiled Strong, Secure, Engaged - a comprehensive, ambitious, once-in-a-generation defence policy which includes historic new funding for Canada's military.

"We certainly hope that Russian Federation will choose to become a more positive actor in world affairs than it has chosen to be in the past".

Questioned repeatedly about Trump's attacks on European allies and Canada, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg acknowledged the trans-Atlantic differences but refused to say whether the USA leader's attacks are damaging the alliance.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story.

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