Harper en route to Wales for NATO summit meeting

Prime Minister Stephen Harper departs Ottawa on Tuesday, September 2, 2014, on route to the United Kingdom for the NATO summit. Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Stephen Harper is airborne on his way to a NATO summit in Wales.

The summit agenda includes a proposal to organize a new military force to give the alliance a fast-reaction capability.

The meeting will also look at the continuing crisis in Ukraine and the end of the NATO mission in Afghanistan.

The meeting comes as the U.S. and Britain lean on Canada to increase defence spending to meet NATO’s benchmark of two per cent of gross domestic product.

That could be a problem for Harper as his government moves to balance the budget before the scheduled election next year.

The meeting runs Wednesday and Thursday.

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