Friday, October 15, 2004

Canadian troops to Iraq? Maybe some day...

Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin doesn't rule out sending Canadian forces to Iraq in the future:

Canadian troops might one day patrol war-torn Iraq, but for now the country's military can be more effective helping bring peace to other global hotspots, Prime Minister Paul Martin said yesterday.

"Canada's role has got to be one of significance ... it's got to be one where in fact we can make a substantial difference," Martin said yesterday.But despite growing pressure on countries like Canada to bring order to Iraq, Martin refused to commit troops to the controversial conflict yesterday.

Instead, he made it clear he thinks Canada's limited resources are best devoted to Afghanistan, Haiti and Africa, especially Sudan's troubled Darfur region.

"I'm not downplaying the role we could play in Iraq at all ... I'm not saying we will not play a role in Iraq," Martin said, after meeting with French President Jacques Chirac.

"What we've really got to be doing is focusing those efforts ... and not simply spreading them so thinly that what we are is a marginal player in every area," Martin said. "I'd rather have us be a predominant player."


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