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US, Canadian defense leaders discuss anti-ISIL collaboration

By U.S. Central Command News Release

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June 25, 2015 — BRUSSELS, June 25, 2015 – U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Canadian Defense Minister Jason Kenney met here Wednesday, and part of their discussion focused on the collaboration between the United States and Canada in operations to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, U.S. Defense Department officials said.

Carter and Kenney are here as part of a NATO conference of defense ministers. It was the first meeting between the two defense leaders since assuming their respective positions.

“Secretary Carter commended Canada for its contributions -- particularly their training efforts in northern Iraq -- and he and Minister Kenney discussed ways the United States and Canada can continue to work together on this issue,” U.S. officials said in a statement summarizing the meeting.

In addition to both countries being involved in training Iraqi forces, both are also supporting the air campaign against ISIL in Iraq and Syria and have been part of the effort to deliver millions of pounds of equipment and supplies to Iraqi forces.

In a statement, Kenney said, “I was very pleased to meet with Secretary Carter for the first time and have a fruitful discussion on important issues of common interest. From our cooperation through NATO, to our work with the international coalition against (ISIL), to our daily activities through (the North American Aerospace Defense Command) to defend North America, our two countries enjoy a unique defence relationship. The United States is Canada's most important ally and defence partner. Defence and security relations between our two countries are longstanding, well-entrenched and highly successful. The closeness of the Canada-U.S. defence partnership provides both countries with greater security than we could achieve individually.”

(DoD News, Defense Media Activity, contributed to this report.)