Canada and Israel continue to strengthen their defence ties.
Israeli Defence Forces’ chief of the general staff, Lieut.-Gen. Benny Gantz made a two-day trip to Ottawa last Thursday and Friday to hold a series of talks with Gen. Walt Natynczyk, Canada’s chief of the defence staff, and other high-ranking Canadian military personnel.
It was Gantz’s first official trip to Canada and the first stop before leaving for meetings in Washington, D.C., over the weekend.
The two military leaders met to expand upon a memorandum of understanding signed by the two nations in January 2011 that aims “to strengthen existing ties by underlining the practical benefits of our growing defence relationship,” according to the Department of National Defence.
That memorandum laid the groundwork for expansion of co-operation between Israel and Canada in the areas of counter-terrorism, training, search and rescue, intelligence, command and control and the sharing of new technologies.
In January, Canada and Israel further cemented their defence relationship when Israel’s Ministry of Defence appointed IDF Brig.-Gen. Eden Attias as its first defence attaché to Ottawa.
Natynczyk also hosted Gantz at an official dinner, which included his deputy and other senior officers, and called it an “honour” to meet with his Israeli counterpart.
“Meeting with the chiefs of defence of allied and friendly nations is always time very well spent. This is an important opportunity for us to share perspectives on global security issues,” Natynczyk said. “Our relationship with the Israeli Defence Forces is growing. We will continue to build upon our friendship with practical initiatives of mutual benefit.”
According to an IDF statement, the two men also met for an extended “one-on-one” meeting on March 16, in which they “exchanged views on current security issues.”
Gantz also briefed Natynczyk and his staff about current challenges and trends in the Middle East and “the radical elements which carry negative influence on the area course of the past year,” the IDF said.
The CJN will have an interview with Attias in an upcoming issue.