OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Apr 20, 2013) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, QC, Associate Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament for Delta - Richmond East, took a guided tour of the French Navy's multi-mission frigate Aquitaine today in Halifax, N.S. The ship is currently conducting a goodwill port visit from April 18-20, on behalf of the French Navy and the Government of France.
"We are very pleased to host Aquitaine and her crew during this port visit to Canada and we hope that they are enjoying the warm maritime hospitality for which my fellow Nova Scotians are renowned," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. "Canada and France work together to protect our shared interests and values in addition to promoting international peace and security."
Minister MacKay was provided a guided tour of the Aquitaine by Captain Benoît Rouvière, her Commanding Officer, prior to addressing the media about the importance of the Canada / France defence partnership and bilateral relations between our countries.
Minister Findlay had an opportunity to tour Aquitaine on Friday. During her personal tour of the ship with Captain Rouvière, Minister Findlay had a chance to meet and converse with crewmembers in the operations and engineering departments.
"Our shared history, language and common values make the relationship between Canada and France unique," said Minister Findlay. "We also share a mutual commitment to NATO and benefit from a solid defence partnership, demonstrated most recently by our assistance to the French efforts in Mali."
Canada and France recently demonstrated once again their strong defence partnership when the Canadian Armed Forces contributed strategic airlift support to the French Armed Forces. On January 14, 2013, following a request from the French government, Canada committed one Royal Canadian Air Force CC-177 transport aircraft, in a non-combat role, to bring equipment from France to the Malian capital of Bamako. This contribution of a key Canadian military asset, now on an on-call basis, provided France with an important strategic lift capability that enabled them to establish security and stability in the region.
Canada's defence cooperation with France on international operations has also been demonstrated in our shared commitments to Afghanistan's future as part of NATO's International Security Assistance Force, and during operations in Libya in support of the NATO-led Operation Unified Protector.
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