☷Secretary of Defense Lloyd J Austin III Remarks Welcoming Canadian Minister of National Defence Anita Anand to the Pentagon
U.S. Department of Defense ( By Press Release office)
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SECRETARY OF DEFENSE LLOYD J . AUSTIN III: Well , Madam Minister , welcome to Washington . It is a pleasure to host you here at the Pentagon for the first time , and we ' ve been seeing a lot of each other this week , and I want to thank you again for joining our important gathering of defense leaders at Ramstein Air Base just two days ago . It seems like it was 10 days ago , but it was just two days ago , so things are moving fairly rapidly . I was absolutely delighted to see there , it goes without saying . You know , we don ' t have a better friend than Canada . You are more than a deeply - trusted neighbor; you are an invaluable friend and a steadfast ally . We stand shoulder - to - shoulder protecting our countries and building a secure and prosperous North America and defending human rights and human dignity around the world . And Madam Minister , you and I were standing up for those shared core principles together again in Germany at the first meeting of the Ukraine Defense Consultative Group , and Canada was a leader in stepping up to support Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression and atrocities . You know the stakes , and you know how important the rules - based international order is for global security in this century . So Canada has been pushing hard to help Ukraine get the assistance that it needs so urgently and to strengthen its security and sovereignty over the long term . And let me commend Canada for announcing at Ramstein that it will send eight armored vehicles to Ukraine , and for all your other efforts , including your outstanding work on training through Operation UNIFIER , and I ' m looking forward to building on those conversations today in our meeting . Of course , our agenda extends beyond Russia ' s cruel war in Ukraine . We ' ll also talk about our shared responsibilities for defending our countries through the NORAD Command . We ' re both committed to a stable Arctic region where international norms are respected . Our two countries also work together with Mexico to strengthen North American defense ties , and we cooperate closely with partners in Latin American - - Latin America and the Caribbean on security in the region we call home . And finally , I look forward to discussing challenges in the Indo - Pacific , especially China ' s increasingly - troubling efforts to bully sovereign neighboring countries and subvert the rules - based international order . And I know that both our governments care about bolstering a secure , open and prosperous Indo - Pacific . So Madam Minister , thank you again for your leadership and for your counsel and insight , and for the warm bond between our two great democracies . Again , welcome to Washington . I know we ' re going to have a great conversation today . Over to you . CANADIAN DEFENCE MINISTER ANITA ANAND: Thank you so much , Secretary . I want to thank you for hosting the conference , the dialogue in Ramstein on Tuesday . There was a palpable feeling of unity in the room among the 42 nations present , and it was your leadership , sir , that brought us together on that day , and I am deeply grateful , and our country is deeply grateful , given our collective commitment to the rules - based international order and Ukrainian sovereignty writ large . Thank you . We are actively looking at what additional aid Canada can provide Ukraine in the near future , and as you have seen over the past number of weeks , we are grateful for your partnership in terms of our continued military donations to Ukraine . And in terms of purchasing priority equipment , Canada ' s 2022 budget plans for a meaningful and realistic increase to our defense standing , and we are committed to confirming significant additional investments to support continental defense and NORAD modernization . We are also focused on the Indo - Pacific and ensuring that we are responding to China , and I look forward to having a conversation with you today about that threat , as well . We also believe that enhanced cooperation among like - minded Arctic countries is increasingly needed as we strive to maintain the Arctic as a zone of cooperation governed by the rules - based international order . In short , Mr . Secretary , we value , I value , your leadership and your partnership , and I look forward to working with you closely over the next months and years . Thank you . SEC . AUSTIN: Thank you , Madam Minister .
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