Sajjan: Talks between Kurds, Iraqi government ‘going well’ – National


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Talks between the Iraqi authorities and representatives of its Kurdish inhabitants within the north are “going nicely,” says Canada’s defence minister, however Canada has no plans to take sides within the inside battle that has flared for the reason that retreat of the so-called Islamic State.

“Once I was at NATO on the margins … all of the defence ministers got an replace and we have been advised that the discussions have been really going nicely, in order that’s good to listen to,” Harjit Sajjan advised The West Block‘s Vassy Kapelos in Halifax this weekend.

The minister and a whole bunch of different delegates — together with at the least one from the Kurdistan Regional Authorities — have been gathering in Nova Scotia for the ninth annual Halifax Worldwide Safety Discussion board.

It’s unclear what particular talks could be underway in Iraq. As late as Thursday, a consultant for the Kurdish Democratic Occasion advised the Related Press that the Kurds had been making an attempt to “begin a dialogue with the central authorities” from the Kurdish capital area, however had so far failed.

WATCH: Kurdish-Iraqi tensions go away Canadian mission in a bind

There have, nevertheless, additionally been indicators of a rapprochement this week. Kurdish parliamentarians who had been boycotting sittings of the legislature for the reason that Iraqi authorities refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of a Kurdish independence referendum in late September have returned to Baghdad.

READ MORE: Ought to troopers kill ISIS fighters recruited from Canada earlier than they will return?

Canada has refused to take sides within the battle, which escalated to violence in October. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has additionally ignored requires Canada to behave as a mediator.

“For us to have the ability to take any sides right here can be inappropriate,” Sajjan advised Kapelos.

“We wish to encourage unity … the very last thing we wish is situations to be set once more for a bunch like (IS) to be reconstituted, or a brand new model of it created.”

Canada has, within the interim, suspended the operations of a crew of particular forces troopers stationed in northern Iraq till the 2 sides can obtain a decision. Sajjan provided no timeline for when that particular mission may resume, or how lengthy it could be earlier than Canada decides to easily deliver the troopers house.

“Anytime the scenario modifications I get briefed up,” he stated. “We’re monitoring the scenario.”

Peacekeeping mission earlier than finish of mandate

Sajjan was additionally requested concerning the Canadian authorities’s latest peacekeeping announcement, which didn’t embrace commitments to any particular nation or United Nations mission.

As an alternative, Ottawa is dedicated to deploying as much as 200 rapid-response floor troops and a separate cohort of navy trainers for future UN peacekeeping operations. They might be deployed for intervals of as much as 12 months on an as-needed foundation.

WATCH: PM Trudeau will get blended opinions for peacekeeping announcement

Along with the manpower, the navy is promising to supply Canadian tactical plane, cargo planes and helicopters.

Sajjan stated he doesn’t know when he’ll have the ability to verify the place these troops and sources are going, however they are going to be deployed earlier than the tip of the federal government’s present mandate, in 2019.

“We’ve got to take a look at the timelines, we’ve got to take a look at the kind of impact we are able to have, and we’ll should work with the UN. However I can’t offer you a timeline precisely,” the minister stated.  “We can have individuals deployed, Canadians count on us to get entangled … however we wish to be sure we get this proper.”

– Watch the complete interview with Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan above

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