Canada stalled on UN re­quest to lead mis­sion

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD -

Canada may have missed a chance to pro­vide the com­mand­ing of­fi­cer for the United Na­tions peacekeeping mis­sion in Mali be­cause it wanted to talk first to the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion, the Cana­dian Press has learned. The UN put out re­quests to a hand­ful of top-tier coun­tries in mid-De­cem­ber as the term of the mis­sion’s pre­vi­ous com­man­der, Dan­ish Maj.-Gen. Michael Lolles­gaard, was com­ing to an end. Sources say the Lib­eral gov­ern­ment asked the UN to hold off on a de­ci­sion un­til af­ter the gov­ern­ment had a chance to con­sult the new Amer­i­can ad­min­is­tra­tion on Canada’s fu­ture peacekeeping plans. De­fence Min­is­ter Har­jit Sa­j­jan said last month he wanted to talk to his Amer­i­can coun­ter­part, De­fence Sec­re­tary James Mat­tis, be­fore Canada sent peace­keep­ers to Africa be­cause co-or­di­na­tion with the United States is essen­tial.

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