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Immediate Release

Readout of Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work's Visit to Canada

June 15, 2015

Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work visited Ottawa, Canada June 15-16, to meet with senior Canadian government officials and the Permanent Joint Board on Defense (PJBD).

The deputy secretary visited the Canadian Parliament and National Defense headquarters. He met with Canadian officials, including the Minister of National Defense Jason Kenney, Associate Minister of National Defense Julian Fantino, Deputy Minister of the Department of National Defense John Forster, Associate Deputy Minister of National Defense John Turner, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rob Nicholson.

The leaders discussed global security challenges, including collaboration for ongoing operations in Iraq to counter Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Work commended Canada for its contributions, particularly in conducting air strikes against ISIL targets, ways to address the risks to minority populations in Syria, and the delivery of humanitarian aid to Kurdish forces in Northern Iraq. Additionally, the deputy secretary and Canadian officials discussed the situation in Ukraine, and efforts to provide assistance to Ukraine as well as NATO reassurance initiatives. In regards to Western Hemisphere defense, Work and Canadian leaders professed support for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and modernization of the North Warning System.

The deputy secretary also attended a dinner celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the PJBD, the most senior bilateral defense forum between the U.S. and Canada. Established in 1940, the PJBD focuses on policy issues related to continental defense and security, such as asymmetric threats. At the dinner, Work noted that the bilateral defense cooperation between the United States and Canada remains one of the world's strongest, as demonstrated by operations at NORAD and the work of the PJBD.

Throughout his visit, Work reaffirmed the department's commitment to sustaining a strong bilateral relationship while continuing to work with our North American neighbors.