Canada’s PM tells Clinton Afghan military mission will end in 2011

By Rob Gillies, AP
Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Canada tells Clinton troops are leaving

OTTAWA — Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper told U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that Canada’s military mission in Afghanistan will end in 2011.

Clinton went on Canadian television on Monday and said the U.S. would like Canadian troops to remain in Afghanistan past 2011 and suggested they could switch from a combat to a training role.

But Dimitri Soudas, a spokesman for Harper, says Harper told Clinton on Tuesday that after 2011 Canada will be involved in a civilian mission focused largely on aid and reconstruction.

Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon also ruled out any form of a military mission post-2011 at a news conference late Monday night following Clinton’s remarks.

Harper and Clinton met for 20 minutes on the sidelines of the Group of Eight foreign ministers meeting.

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