Canadian Prime Minister-elect Justin Trudeau has said he will remove Canada's six fighter jets from the U.S.-led bombing campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Trudeau, who had promised to withdraw Canada from combat in the coalition fight against ISIL currently taking place in Syria and Iraq, said he told President Barack Obama on Tuesday that Canada will pull out of the bombing mission but maintain humanitarian aid and training.
The White House had earlier said it hoped the new Canadian government would continue to support the efforts of the U.S.-led coalition.
“He understands the commitment I've made around ending the combat mission,” Trudeau told reporters, referring to Obama.
Trudeau, who campaigned on a promise of change, toppled Stephen Harper's Conservatives on Monday, giving him the freedom to start implementing his campaign pledges largely unimpeded.
“Trudeau will return Canada to its traditional approach in foreign affairs which is characteristic of every single government but Harper's,” said Robert Bothwell, a professor at the University of Toronto. “Canada will go back to multilateralism, back to strong support for the United Nations.”
He struck a chord with Canadians weary of nine years of Conservative rule. Harper resigned as party leader after the defeat.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Harper's defeat would not affect Kerry's decision on whether to approve the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline between the two countries.
Trudeau backs Keystone and has vowed to repair cool relations between Ottawa and Washington.
The Liberal leader said he did not raise Keystone in his conversation with Obama and made “a point of staying much broader in our conversation.”
Trudeau has also vowed to take in 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the year. Harper declined to resettle more Syrian refugees despite the haunting image of a drowned 3-year-old's body washed up on a Turkish beach after his family's failed attempt to immigrate to Canada.
Al Jazeera and wire services