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Security conference hosted by defence minister Harjit Sajjan gathers in Halifax

Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan fields questions at the closing news conference at the Halifax International Security Forum in Halifax on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. The Canadian Press/Andrew Vaughan

The Halifax International Security Forum begins its three-day annual conference on Friday with some high-profile guests in attendance.

Re-appointed Liberal Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan is the official host of the 11th annual event, which is expecting participants from more than 80 democratic countries.

READ MORE: Protesters gather outside Halifax International Security Forum

Former Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko will speak on Sunday.

Richard Spencer, secretary of the U.S. navy, will also be at the gathering, as will Republican Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho, the chairman of the U.S. Senate’s foreign relations committee.

READ MORE: ‘Finding peaceful solutions’ purpose of Halifax security forum: Peter McKay

Democratic Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine is returning to the forum to participate in a discussion titled, “The Importance of Being Allies,” along with Sir Michael Arthur, president of Boeing International, and Gen. Rajmund Andrzejczak, chief of staff of the Polish Armed Forces.

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The forum will also hear from Robert O’Brien, assistant to the U.S. president for national security affairs, in a forum titled “Preserving Peace through Strength.”

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