VALLETTA, Malta — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has arrived in Malta for the second leg of his three-stop, European conference tour.
Trudeau meets this evening with Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat before the full Commonwealth heads-of-government summit begins Friday.
Malta, an island republic of less than half a million citizens in the Mediterranean Sea, is an historic migratory crossroad between North Africa and Italy.
The current refugee crisis in the Middle East is literally lapping at its shores.
Trudeau will be discussing Canada’s role in fighting Islamic terrorism as well as climate change and matters of Commonwealth governance during his three-day stay.
From Malta, Trudeau is to move on to Paris for a UN climate change conference before returning to Canada and the opening of Parliament next week.
French President Francois Hollande is expected to attend the Commonwealth meeting on Friday to brief the organization on the Paris climate negotiations.
Trudeau departed London today as British Prime Minister David Cameron was making the case in Parliament for an expanded air war over Syrian territory.
Cameron told the British House of Commons that you can’t “sub-contract” national security.
His efforts to widen the British air war come as Trudeau is vowing to withdraw Canada’s six CF-18 jets from the American-led bombing mission in Iraq and Syria.
France has also upped its air war since the deadly terror attacks in Paris two weeks ago that claimed at least 130 lives.
A senior Trudeau adviser, briefing reporters on the flight to Malta under agreement not to be named, said Cameron did not pressure Trudeau to reconsider his CF-18 decision when the two prime ministers met in London on Wednesday evening.
In fact, the adviser said not a single world leader has questioned Canada’s pending withdrawal from the air war during the last two weeks of intense international summitry.
Trudeau has made it clear Canada is not leaving the military coalition fighting Islamic militants and will expand its military training role, a move his officials say has been accepted abroad without complaint.