Nothing to see here, Canada says of Five Eyes alliance despite absence from sub deal

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WASHINGTON — The federal government insists a new intelligence deal between three key allies won't diminish Canada's ability to defend its own interests in the Indo-Pacific region.

The White House is billing the so-called AUKUS agreement with the United Kingdom and Australia as a game-changing security partnership.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the agreement will have no impact on the Five Eyes partnership, which comprises the three AUKUS players, plus Canada and New Zealand.

Trudeau says the deal is primarily about Australia's efforts to develop and acquire a fleet of nuclear submarines, an ambition Canada doesn't share.

A spokesman says both Defence Minister Harjiit Sajjan and Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau discussed the agreement Wednesday with their Australian and U.K. counterparts.

Brett Bruen, a consultant and former U.S. diplomat, says Canada may want to keep its distance to avoid aggravating existing tensions with China.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 16, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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