Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

September 30, 2011 14:00 ET

Minister MacKay Meets With Secretary of Defense Panetta

WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 30, 2011) - Canada's Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Peter MacKay, today met with U.S. Secretary of Defense, Leon E. Panetta, for their first bilateral meeting since Mr. Panetta took office in July 2011.

"I was honoured to meet with Secretary of Defense Panetta and to build on the longstanding friendship and partnership that our two countries have enjoyed for so many years," said Minister MacKay. "Our defence relationship with the U.S. is unique in the world. Our binational command in NORAD, as well as the daily operation between our military and defence teams is a tangible demonstration of how we stand shoulder to shoulder with the United States in the defence of North America and in addressing common global challenges. We are proud to work alongside our U.S. friends in the Americas, in Libya, in Afghanistan, and as transatlantic partners of NATO."

During the bilateral meeting with Mr. Panetta, they discussed UN mandated NATO led mission in Libya and Afghanistan, as well as Canada-U.S. bilateral defence cooperation.

While in Washington, Minister MacKay met with the Inter-American Defense Board (IADB) where he delivered an address to heads of delegation to the IADB as well as to key officials and national representatives from the Organization of American States (OAS). The Minister emphasized the importance of civil-military relations; the need for hemisphere security cooperation; the key role of the OAS and the IADB in dealing with security challenge in the hemisphere. The Minister of National Defence's visit to the IADB is part of Canada's commitment to the Americas region and to inter-American multilateral institutions.

The IADB is a forum of nationally-appointed military representatives that provides the OAS and its members with technical and educational advice, and consultancy services, on hemispheric defence matters. The current chair, elected in July 2011, is Canadian Lieutenant-General Guy Thibault.

The United States is Canada's most important ally and defence partner. Defence and security relations between our two countries are based on common values, shared histories and a culture of military cooperation and interoperability that is unique in the world.

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