Canadian Prime Minister-designate, Justin Trudeau, announced that Canada will withdraw its fighter jets from Iraq and Syria.
Trudeau, who is leading his Liberal party to a win in the polls, informed President Barack Obama of his decision to bring back the CF-18 fighter jets that had been sent to Iraq and Syria, and were to be deployed until March 2016. However, Trudeau has not provided a timeline as to when the fighter jets will be withdrawn.
In a statement, the White House said, “The two leaders agreed on the importance of deepening the already strong United States-Canada relationship and committed to strengthening the countries’ joint efforts to promote trade, combat terrorism, and mitigate climate change.”
The Liberal party being led by Trudeau, an ex-high school teacher and the eldest son of late Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, coming to power ends the decade-long rule of Conservative party under Stephen Harper, as reported by BBC.
In addition to fighter jets being deployed in Iraq and Syria last year, Canada also sent 70 special forces to the region to train Kurds. While Trudeau announced that he will withdraw the fighter jets and combat mission, he said the military trainers will be maintained. “I committed that we would continue to engage in a responsible way that understands how important Canada has a role to play in the fight against ISIL, but [Barack Obama] understands the commitments I’ve made around ending the combat mission,” he said.
As reported by the Guardian, Trudeau said he will make efforts to improve relations between Canada and the U.S., which were strained under Harper’s rule. At a rally in Ottawa, he said, “I want to say this to this country’s friends around the world: Many of you have worried that Canada has lost its compassionate and constructive voice in the world over the past 10 years. “Well, I have a simple message for you on behalf of 35 million Canadians. We’re back.”
His new cabinet, he said, will be sworn in on November 4. “I’m very, very aware of both the opportunity and the responsibility that we have to live up to, having put forward a strong vision for growth, for unity, for positivity in this country,” he said.