Canada reviewing military role in anti-IS fight: PM

26 november 2015, 10:41

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada was reviewing its role in the fight against Islamic State jihadists, during a visit to London Wednesday in which he also bantered with Queen Elizabeth II, AFP reports.

Trudeau has committed to withdrawing Ottawa's six warplanes out of Iraq and Syria following his appointment as Canada's first Liberal prime minister in almost a decade earlier this month.

"The form that our military engagement, which will continue, will take is currently being worked out in close collaboration with our allies," Trudeau told reporters on his first visit to London as prime minister.

"What's most important for Canada... is that we continue to be a strong player within the coalition against ISIL... also in terms of military engagement," Trudeau said, using another term for IS.

"I have said from the beginning that we will have a shifted approach from the current bombing mission."

Trudeau earlier went to Buckingham Palace to meet Queen Elizabeth, who is also Canada's monarch.

It was a reunion for the two as they met several times when Trudeau was a child and his father Pierre Trudeau was prime minister.

"You were much taller than me the last time we met," he quipped.

The queen laughed and said: "Yes, it's extraordinary to think of, isn't it?"

Trudeau's new government removed the queen's portrait from its foreign affairs department lobby after the election, hanging two paintings by a Quebec artist in its place.

The ministry said the change, a move away from the monarchist symbolism of the previous Tory government, was intended to "showcase Canada".

Trudeau's father is remembered for being captured doing a pirouette behind the queen by a photographer against palace protocols -- thought to be a spontaneous act by a maverick leader at the time but later revealed to be rehearsed.

The visit to Britain is a stopover on Trudeau's trip to a Commonwealth summit in Malta, before he travels to Paris for the COP21 climate talks aimed at forging a global agreement on climate change.

Trudeau said Malta presented a good opportunity to broker an agreement ahead of the Paris meeting on Monday.

"The timing of the Commonwealth heads of government meeting is very propitious for us to talk exactly about how important it is to address urgent issues around climate change... to make sure that it is a global effort," he said.

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