Canada is extending its commitment to an international maritime security mission in the waters off the Middle East for another four years, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced today.
“It is a clear display of our solidarity with partners and allies in the global fight against terrorism,” Sajjan said of Operation Artemis, Canada’s contribution to a multinational maritime security force in the region. The federal government has approved up to $131.4 million to support the extension, which will see the deployment of up to 375 military personnel. The Canadian Forces will also send a CP-140 Aurora patrol aircraft as part of the mission, and plan to deploy a Halifax-class frigate every other year staring in 2018.
Combined Task Force 150
Combined Task Force 150 is a U.S.-led multinational mission bringing together 31 countries in the waters around the Middle East and East Africa. The multinational force deploys ships and surveillance operations to deter and intercept illegal shipments of weapons and narcotics used to fund terrorist groups.
Canada plans to deploy a frigate next year to a multinational force patrolling international waters in the Middle East as part of an extension to Operation Artemis. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)
“By denying terrorists a method of conducting operations and moving personnel, weapons and narcotics, Canada makes a direct contribution to increased maritime security and international counterterrorism efforts,” Sajjan said. Covering more than five million square kilometres, the task force’s purview spans the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Oman and the Western Indian Ocean. The maritime region is strategically important not only in terms of its place in the global fight against terrorism, but also as a vital trade route between the Far East, Europe and North America.
The planned deployment of a Halifax-class frigate to the Middle East next year is in contrast to when Canada last led the multinational force. Canada was unable to send a frigate for that command in December 2016, the third time Canada had led CTF 150 since its launch in 2001. Canada has since handed command of the operation to France. Sajjan said Canada could seek to lead the multinational force every other year.
4-years allow flexibility: Sajjan
Sajjan said the four-year extension will allow the military greater flexibility in planning its operations, with this mission connected to Canada’s broader efforts to counter terrorism worldwide. The deployment of a CP-140 Aurora as part of Operation Artemis is “not related at all whatsoever” to the government’s decision earlier this month to pull a similar aircraft from the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS, Sajjan told reporters.
The defence minister also did not provide further details on the government’s expected commitment to international peacekeeping operations.
“When it comes to peace support operations, we want to make sure we take the time to get this right, because it’s not done in isolation” Sajjan said.
- ^ to pull a similar aircraft from the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS (polopoly.nm.cbc.ca)
- ^ expected commitment to international peacekeeping operations (www.cbc.ca)
Highlights1India and Mauritius signed four pacts today.2Narendra Modi discussed maritime security concerns with Pravind Jugnauth.3India extended USD 500 million line of credit to Mauritius.Prime Minister Narendra Modi today held talks with visiting Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth and discussed maritime and coastal security in the Indian Ocean among other issues.After holding talks with his Mauritius counterpart, PM Narendra Modi said, “PM Jugnauth and I agreed that it is our responsibility to ensure maritime security around our coasts.”The talks gain significance in the wake of China’s aggressive posturing in the Indian Ocean as it tries to extend help to India’s neighbours having coastline.“Effective management of conventional, non-conventional threats in Indian Ocean essential for pursuing economic opportunities,” Narendra Modi said highlighting the concerns.PM: We agree that effective mngnt of conventional & non-conventional threats in Indian Ocean is essential to pursue economic opportunities pic.twitter.com/lwA4bZ4080– Gopal Baglay (@MEAIndia) May 27, 2017INDIA EXTENDS USD 500 CREDIT LINE TO MAURITIUSA USD 500 million line of credit (LOC) from India to Mauritius is among four agreements signed by the two countries following delegation-level talks headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Mauritian counterpart Pravind Jugnauth.External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay listed out the agreements signed between India and Mauritius under ‘New Vistas for a Futuristic Partnership’. The LOC agreement was signed between SBM Mauritius Infrastructure Development Co. Ltd and Export-Import Bank of India.Another agreement was signed on cooperation on maritime security between the two countries.A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the two sides for setting up of a civil services college in Mauritius.Another MoU was signed between the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of India and Mauritius Oceanography Institute for research and education in marine sciences and technology.(Photo: @MEAIndia) Mauritius also submitted its instrument of ratification of the India-initiated International Solar Alliance (ISA).The ISA, launched at the UN Conference of Parties (CoP) climate summit in Paris on November 30, 2015, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then French President Francois Hollande, is conceived as a coalition of solar resource-rich countries to address their special energy needs and provide a platform to collaborate on dealing with the identified gaps through a common, agreed approach.It is open to all 121 prospective member countries falling between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.JUGNAUTH MEETS SUSHMAEarlier in the day, Jugnauth was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan following which External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on him.Jugnauth arrived in New Delhi yesterday on a three-day state visit to India. This is Jugnauth’s first visit abroad since assuming office this January.Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today met Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth and discussed ways to deepen bilateral cooperation in various areas including trade and investment.During the meeting, Swaraj said there was scope to expand bilateral ties in a range of areas.Jugnauth held discussions with Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan yesterday.
Leading News from Sri Lanka::
* Australia and Sri Lanka to enhance cooperation in maritime security
Fri, May 26, 2017, 08:45 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.
May 26, Sydney: President Maithripala Sirisena assured that his government is totally committed to support the campaign against human smuggling and sea piracy. He said that Sri Lanka would extend fullest cooperation to the efforts taken to enhance maritime security.
The President made this statement when the Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne called on him at the Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney, on Thursday (May 25).
Ms Payne thanked the President for excellent cooperation extended to Australia for curbing human smuggling and added that the cooperation could be further extended. President Sirisena said that drug smuggling has also become a major threat to many countries and emphasized the need for broad international cooperation to eliminate that menace. Defense Minister, explaining the experience gained by the Australian Navy over the years to prevent drug smuggling, said the drug smugglers use the profits to fund terrorist organizations and it is a major problem to law and order in many countries. Hence Australia is willing to closely cooperate with Sri Lanka in this field and provide every possible assistance to Sri Lanka Navy and Coast Guard, Ms Payne assured the President.
Australia currently provides training to military cadets from Sri Lanka, and the Defense Minister acceded to the President’s request to expand training facilities to include middle-level and senior military officers.
Minister John Amaratunga, Deputy Ministers Harsha de Silva, Ajith P. Perera, and the High Commissioner Somasundaram Skandakumar participated on this occasion.
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