Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

May 24, 2012 15:00 ET

Statement by the Associate Minister of National Defence on Meeting With Italy's Undersecretary of State Milone in Toronto

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 24, 2012) - The Honourable Julian Fantino, Associate Minister of National Defence, today issued a statement following his meeting with Italy's Undersecretary of State for Defence Filippo Milone in Toronto:

"Today, I met with Filippo Milone, Italy's Undersecretary of State for Defence, to discuss and re-affirm our countries' bi-lateral defence relationship.

We agreed that our countries are important allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), with many common defence priorities. We each appreciate the support the other nation committed to NATO's mission and Libya, and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

Furthermore, we discussed our participation in the development of the Joint Strike Fighter program that has resulted in economic benefits for industry and skilled workers in our respective countries. While Canada is committed to sustaining the Canadian Forces' fighter capability, we will not proceed with a decision to purchase any replacement aircraft until the seven points we have outlined have been implemented.

Italy has strong cultural ties in Canada, and our countries will continue working collaboratively to make meaningful contributions to international security, human rights and the rule of law. In today's global security environment, bi-lateral relationships such as the one that exists between Canada and Italy are increasingly important to protecting our mutual values and way of life."

Undersecretary of State Milone will also join Minister Fantino in Vaughan this evening to meet with members of the Italian-Canadian community, including the Vaughan Chamber of Commerce.

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