G7 foreign ministers' meeting begins in Toronto


Canada, Japan sign military pact ahead of G7 foreign ministers' talks in Toronto

Canada and Japan signed a military co-operation agreement ahead of Sunday's G7 foreign ministers meeting where the North Korean nuclear crisis will be front and centre.

The Ministry of foreign Affairs of Canada said that the Agreement on acquisition and cross-use will allow the Armed forces of both countries "to exchange products and services such as: food, water, fuel, fix services, spare parts and components, transportation, clothing, communication and medical services - use training and warehouse space, as well as sea and air ports".

Also on the agenda is North Korea, which on Saturday said it would immediately suspend nuclear and missile tests and scrap its nuclear test site. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan is representing the USA instead. Freeland, who speaks Ukrainian, is an avowed critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The U.S. ambassador to Canada said Sunday that President Donald Trump is leading global efforts to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons. "It's something we've also been working closely with Canada on", Craft said in a statement.

With Trump threatening to withdraw the United States if an agreement to revamp the deal can not be reached before the May 12 deadline set by the USA leader, Kono said "many ministers" sought "continuous and complete implementation" of the deal. The meetings are being held with a notable exception - incoming U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has not yet been confirmed, so the U.S. was represented by a deputy, John Sullivan.

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Canada has made the advancement of gender equality a pervasive theme that cuts across all G7 discussions, and the foreign ministers' meeting is no exception.

Freeland will be joined on Monday by Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, who will host G7 ministerial security meeting on terrorism and cyber security.

Freeland invited about a half-dozen non-G7 foreign ministers also attending the summit to a separate Saturday night dinner.

Freeland also wants the disruptive influence of Russian Federation and the West to be a top agenda item, and has asked Ukrainian foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin to join part of today's talks, going so far as to host him - along with other ministers - at her home for brunch.

Freeland and Kono met last month in Tokyo where they affirmed their commitment to keep economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea to end its nuclear program when they meet their G7 counterparts today in Toronto.

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