Canada's NATO troops will stay in Latvia for another four years - Trudeau

Canada To Lead NATO Training Mission In Iraq

As NATO seeks to prove relevance, Canada offers to lead Iraq mission

U.S. President Donald Trump listens as he sits beside Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the G-7 summit in the Charlevoix city of La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada, on June 8, 2018.

"Since NATO's creation in 1949, Canada has played a strong and active role in missions to advance people and security for our citizens and people around the world", Trudeau said in a statement.

While it was quite hot in Toronto during Trudeau's run on Thursday, the PM is no stranger to shirtless incidents, which the clothing company said may lead some to believe he is facing a shirt shortage.

This marks a continuation of the continuing feud that commenced at the G-7 summit where Trump and Trudeau engaged in a war of words discussing the tariffs being implemented.

"I think it's an important metric, amongst many others, to gauge how countries are doing in terms of contributors to NATO", Trudeau said of the two-per-cent benchmark.

This then lead to Trump claiming that Trudeau was "meek and mild" and one of Trump's top advisers saying there was a "special place in hell" for Trudeau.

Questioned repeatedly about Trump's attacks on European allies and Canada, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg acknowledged the trans-Atlantic differences but refused to say whether the USA leader's attacks are damaging the alliance.

His appearance at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation comes just ahead of another summit between himself and Russian President Vladimir Putin, a meeting many have questioned in light of rising aggression coming from Russia in the Baltic region.

Trump's "America First" policies have exposed major differences between the USA and many parts of Europe on issues as diverse as climate change, trade and tariff policies, and the Iran nuclear deal that the US leader has rejected. However, the increased commitment by the alliance in Iraq could be a major step in that direction.

The mission's activities have since been curtailed, and in some cases suspended, as a result of ISIL's defeat and ongoing fighting between some of the different Iraqi factions that Canada and its allies had been supporting.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg applauded Canada and European allies Tuesday for having reversed years of cuts by investing more in defence and contributing more troops and equipment to collective security - even as he pushed back against suggestions the alliance was in trouble. Canada is stepping up.

France, meanwhile, is expected to pledge this week that it will meet the two per cent spending target within the next seven years, while Germany says it will reach 1.5 per cent of GDP by 2024. "The reason to invest is not to please the United States".

- with reporting from Lee Berthiaume in Ottawa. An earlier version said defence spending in Canada as a percentage of GDP was higher in 2018 than in 2017.

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