Minister Sajjan Attends North American Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Canadians want to live in peace and security. We will deepen our cooperation with allies in order to fight terrorism, provide assistance to the world’s most vulnerable, and contribute to greater peace throughout the world.

In keeping with the Government of Canada’s steadfast commitment to the security of Canada and North America, Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan held productive discussions with his counterparts from the United States and Mexico during the third trilateral North American Defence Ministers’ meeting in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis hosted Minister Sajjan and senior members of the Canadian Armed Forces, along with Mexico’s Secretary of National Defence General Salvador Cienfuego Zepeda, and Mexico’s Secretary of the Navy, Admiral Vidal Soberón Sanz.

During the meeting, the Defence Ministers emphasized the importance of continued cooperation and engagement on complex regional challenges.  Minister Sajjan reiterated that trilateral defence cooperation remains integral to the Canadian objective of effectively addressing defence and security challenges across North America. 

During his three day visit to Washington, Minister Sajjan and the Canadian delegation attended a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington Cemetery in advance of U.S. Memorial Day. Additionally, the Minister met with members of the Senate Armed Services Committee including the Chair, John McCain (Arizona) and Ranking Member, Jack Reed (Rhode Island), and members Dan Sullivan (Alaska) and Lindsey Graham (South Carolina), as well as Rep. Adam Smith (Washington), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee. Minister Sajjan also addressed the Wilson Center’s Canada Institute and the Canadian American Business Council.

Quote“Canada’s security within North America is our paramount responsibility. Threats to North America transcend national borders and require a coordinated response. As a result of today’s trilateral discussions, Canada, the U.S. and Mexico have agreed to enhance our defence cooperation in a variety of areas, including humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and peacekeeping. By sharing our experiences and deepening cooperation, we are more able to individually and collectively meet the defence challenges before us.”

Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence


Quick Facts

In March 2012, the first North American Defence Ministers’ meeting was officially launched by the Department of National Defence and was held in Ottawa.

In April 2014, the second trilateral meeting was held in Mexico City, which was another important step in addressing North American security.

Canada will host the next North American Defence Ministers’ meeting in 2019.