Saturday, May 28, 2011

Canada Sticks With Libya Mission, But Won't Send More Jets

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said today he wants to extend his country's participation in the Libyan air campaign, but he will not succumb to pressure to increase the number of jets and ships that Canada is contributing.

"The government is going to ask for a reasonable extension and to continue parliamentary monitoring of what we're doing," Harper told CBC Radio, adding that sending more troops to Libya is not under consideration.

"We think our military involvement is about what it should be but if we want to make any changes to that we'll certainly be very transparent with Parliament on that," said Harper, who called Canada's military contribution to the NATO effort thus far "substantial."

Canadian military officials released raw figures this week showing their half-dozen CF-18 fighter jets have dropped 240 bombs over Libya during 324 sorties.

Moving forward, Harper said he hopes get unanimous support next month to extend the Canadian mission beyond the three months originally agreed upon by Ottawa.

"The government is very committed to the mission and we can, I think, report to Parliament that it has both gone well so far and that its continuation is essential for the original reasons we embarked on it," the prime minister told CBC Radio's Susan Lunn.

"We had unanimity before, I don't know whether we can get that again. I'd obviously welcome that but I think we'll have a good debate. I think all of the reasons all parties agreed to go into Libya are still present," Harper said.

No comments:

Post a Comment