Canada's new leader to pull planes from anti-Islamic State coalition – Washington Post
By DeNeen L. Brown,
Justin Trudeau, the dashing son of political legend Pierre Trudeau, ushered in Canada’s first political dynasty with a stunning victory in national elections. But the incoming prime minister made clear Tuesday that he will chart his own path and introduce change after nine years of Conservative government.
A day after defeating Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Trudeau told President Obama by phone that he would make good on a campaign promise to withdraw Canada’s jets from the U.S.-led bombing campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Canada has committed a half-dozen fighter planes, a fraction of the American air power in the fight.
In other ways, though, Trudeau’s Liberal government may enjoy warmer relations with the Obama administration than Harper did.
Harper was skeptical of the Iran nuclear deal and disagreed sharply with Obama over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta to Nebraska, which the U.S. president has opposed. While Trudeau also backs the pipeline, he said Tuesday that his government will seek a “broader relationship with the United States,” rather than one that “focuses on a single disagreement on a pipeline.”
The Obama administration had asked last year for Canadian participation in the air war against the Islamic State in Iraq, according to Canadian officials. Trudeau said Obama, in their phone call Tuesday, accepted his position.
“I committed that we would continue to engage in a responsible way that understands how Canada has a role to play in the fight against ISIL,” Trudeau said, using an acronym for the group. “He understands the commitments I’ve made around ending the combat mission.”
The White House, in a brief readout of the conversation, did not mention the planes. But a senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of diplomatic sensitivities, said the two men talked about joint efforts to fight terrorism, including the threat posed by the Islamic State. “We expect Canada will continue to be a valuable contributor to the 65-member global coalition” against the group, the U.S. official said.
While reducing Canada’s combat role in the Islamic State campaign, Trudeau has promised to send extra military trainers to help develop Iraqi security forces, another U.S. focus in the region.
In many other ways, the new …Read More
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