Trudeau arrived in northern Mali on Saturday, his first visit since 250 Canadian troops and eight helicopters were sent there in July to provide life-saving medical evacuations for wounded peacekeepers and workers.
The 46-year-old shared a Christmas meal with his countrymen and women ahead of their pullout from the country.
The men and women of the @CanadianForces make immense sacrifices to serve our country and keep us safe. Today I visited with them in Mali, bringing the thanks of Canadians for all their hard work. Thank you to everyone at Camp Castor for everything you do, and merry Christmas! pic.twitter.com/u8SHBqmaZc
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) December 22, 2018
Canada declined to extend its troops’ mission for several months as requested by the United Nations. Prime Minister Trudeau has defended this decision.
The Canadian troops are scheduled to pullout at the end of July.
Trudeau also met with Malian Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubèye Maïga for talks on “how we can work even closer together on trade, development, security and the fight against terrorism.”
Trudeau was accompanied to Mali by a high-level delegation including Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and chief of defence staff Gen. Jonathan Vance.