OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 1, 2013) - Today the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, accompanied by the Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), signed a Defence Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding with Peru's Minister of National Defence, Pedro Cateriano Bellido.
Canada is building strategic partnerships with strong, democratic states whose militaries face many of the same challenges as the Canadian Armed Forces, such as operating in extreme weather environments.
"I'm pleased to establish a defence partnership with Peru that strengthens our ties and contribute to hemispheric stability and security," said Minister MacKay. "This Memorandum of Understanding signals our government's interest in working with our hemispheric partners towards deeper policy, peace and humanitarian operations, disaster response and military education and training."
Peru became a member of Canada's Military Training and Cooperation Program in 2005 and, to date, this program has provided courses in peace support operations, language, civil-military relations, and professional and staff development to more than 70 Peruvian officers. Canada also interacts with Peru in a number of multilateral hemispheric defence fora, including the Conference of Defence Ministers of the Americas, which both Minister MacKay and Minister Cateriano attended in October 2012. Peru will be hosting the Conference in 2014, and Canada and Peru will be working closely together to ensure its success.
"Canada is committed to working with our friends in the Americas to increase economic opportunity and to strengthen security throughout the hemisphere," said the Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs). "This agreement is a very positive step forward in our joint efforts, and complements the growing ties between our two countries in other areas, such as trade and commerce."
The signing of this Defence Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding with Peru demonstrates the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces' commitment to enhancing relations with military partners in the hemisphere, in support of the Government of Canada's strategy on Engagement in the Americas.
For more information about Canada's defence engagement in the Americas, please consult the following backgrounder: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/news-nouvelles-eng.asp?id=4507