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Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement on the close of the NATO-led Libyan mission:
“With the Libyan people having freed themselves from the Gaddafi regime, Canada’s military mission in Libya is complete and Canadians can be proud of the job well done by our troops.
“Since the onset of the crisis in Libya, Canada has played a critical role both politically and militarily to protect innocent civilians against a cruel and oppressive regime.
“Working alongside our NATO allies, the Canadian Armed Forces established and maintained a no-fly zone under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973. The Canadian Armed Forces were instrumental in mission success, flying over some 1500 military missions. Their performance is a tribute to their training and leadership and a result of having the right equipment to get the job done.
“I also want to reiterate my congratulations to Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard and commend him for his pivotal role in leading the combined NATO military mission. He has represented our country with distinction.
“We saw a blatant wrong being perpetrated by a brutal regime and took a leadership role with our allies to help set it right. As a result, Colonel Gaddafi’s 42 years of oppression have come to an end and Libyans now have every opportunity to create a more secure, just and peaceful country.
"While our military mission in Libya has come to an end, Canada will continue helping Libyans by supporting their efforts to build a brighter and better future for themselves. Canada recently announced it would be contributing $10 million to help secure weapons of mass destruction and remove and dispose of explosive remnants of war."