The United States and Canada might soon be working together in Iraq.
Washington has requested the RCMP be brought in to help police Iraq, as the
country transitions from war to stability.
The U.S. has requested Canada join several other countries involved in the
stabilization of Iraq, and Ottawa is now considering it.
"Yes, we have received an American request. We are considering how we might best respond," Foreign Affairs Department spokesperson Reynald Doiron confirmed Thursday.
"We'll need to consult further with the U.S. and other partners, including the United Nations."
It seems likely that RCMP will go, following comments made by Prime Minister Jean Chretien last week that he would be willing to send the policing force if asked.
"I don't know exactly what they intend to do or what kind of intervention they are planning. We are certainly prepared to help out as soon as possible," Chretien said during a news conference last Friday.
Canadian participation may help soothe hurt feelings between the two countries that peaked after Canada refused to participate in the U.S.-led war in Iraq without the backing of the United Nations.
U.S. ambassador to Canada, Paul Cellucci, said the U.S. recognizes that Canada's contribution to Afghanistan, where 1,500 troops will be deployed throughout the summer, means the military is stretched to thin to send troops to Iraq.
"On the military, we're aware of the commitment to Afghanistan this summer, so we understand that that's a big commitment for the Canadian Forces," Cellucci said.
The mission in Iraq would likely be similar to the security force established in Afghanistan after the Taliban was defeated in 2001, government sources told the Toronto Star.
As for humanitarian aid, Canada has already pledged $100 million for the short-term. A major announcement is expected soon on the long-term reconstruction effort.