PM: Canada reviewing military role in anti-ISIS fight

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada was reviewing its role in the fight against Islamic State jihadists

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada was reviewing its role in the fight against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants, during a visit to London Wednesday in which he also bantered with Queen Elizabeth II.

Trudeau has committed to withdrawing Ottawa’s six warplanes out of Iraq and Syria following his appointment as Canada’s first Liberal prime minister in almost a decade earlier this month.

“The form that our military engagement, which will continue, will take is currently being worked out in close collaboration with our allies,” Trudeau told reporters on his first visit to London as prime minister.

“What’s most important for Canada... is that we continue to be a strong player within the coalition against ISIL... also in terms of military engagement,” Trudeau said, using another term for ISIS.

“I have said from the beginning that we will have a shifted approach from the current bombing mission.”

Trudeau earlier went to Buckingham Palace to meet Queen Elizabeth, who is also Canada’s monarch.

Trudeau’s new government removed the queen’s portrait from its foreign affairs department lobby after the election, hanging two paintings by a Quebec artist in its place.

The ministry said the change, a move away from the monarchist symbolism of the previous Tory government, was intended to “showcase Canada”.

The visit to Britain is a stopover on Trudeau’s trip to a Commonwealth summit in Malta, before he travels to Paris for the COP21 climate talks aimed at forging a global agreement on climate change.

Trudeau said Malta presented a good opportunity to broker an agreement ahead of the Paris meeting on Monday.

“The timing of the Commonwealth heads of government meeting is very propitious for us to talk exactly about how important it is to address urgent issues around climate change... to make sure that it is a global effort,” he said.

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