Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

June 03, 2012 09:00 ET

Minister Peter MacKay Leads Canadian Delegation to the International Institute for Strategic Studies Regional Security Dialogue in Singapore

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 3, 2012) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, joined by General Walt Natynczyk, the Chief of the Defence Staff, as well as Rob Fonberg, Deputy Minister of National Defence, participated in the 11th annual International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) regional security dialogue, also known as the Shangri-La Dialogue, in Singapore from June 1 to 3.

Canadian defence representation at this summit, the premier Asia-Pacific security event, highlights Canada's growing role and interests in the Asia-Pacific region and on Asia-Pacific issues. Numerous high-level defence engagements have taken place between Canada and Southeast Asian nations in recent years.

"Canada is a Pacific country and our defence ties and activities reflect our interest in, and partnership with the countries of the region," said Minister MacKay. "This dialogue reinforces Canada's positive bilateral ties and enables us to continue to develop and deepen our partnership with countries in the Asia-Pacific region."

Minister MacKay was invited to address the forum and spoke about Canada's role in the region and our approach to new security challenges at the session on 'Emerging Threats'. He also used the opportunity to hold a wide range of bilateral meetings with counterparts from the region. Bilateral discussions addressed issues such as practical cooperation, regional and global challenges, including non-proliferation, and regional approaches to managing disputes and tensions.

"The Asia-Pacific region is a key area of interest for the Canadian Forces. We have a wealth of experience to share, hard won over the years by those who valiantly preceded us, many of whom made the ultimate sacrifice while helping or protecting others," said General Natynczyk. "I appreciate the opportunity to participate in the Dialogue and I believe it will reinforce our long-standing defence relationships with our counterparts in the region."

General Natynczyk also conducted bilateral meetings with his military counterparts from the region, discussing the potential for increased military cooperation and dialogue.

Canada is strengthening its defence relationships in the Asia-Pacific region through both bilateral and multilateral mechanisms. Canada's objective is to fulfill its role as a trusted security partner within Asia-Pacific, to provide humanitarian aid, training opportunities and to be prepared to meet the potential security concerns of the region.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies "Shangri-La Dialogue," is a key regional event for defence and security diplomacy as well as for addressing security concerns in the Asia-Pacific region.

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