While the head of NATO wants Canadian soldiers to stay in Afghanistan past the end of their training mission in 2014, Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister says he isn't ready to commit to that just yet.
In a public statement last Monday, NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen said, "I appreciate very much that Canada provides trainers for our training mission in Afghanistan, and I hope Canada will be in a position to continue that contribution also after 2014."
However, in an interview with host Evan Solomon airing Saturday on CBC Radio's The House, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said he and Rasmussen "haven't talked about it yet."
"We've been there for more than 10 years. The Canadian Forces have done a fantastic job in their training mission. They've paid a heavy price in their combat mission," Baird said.
"I'm not prepared to commit to any more than that at this time."
While Canada isn't currently considering an extension of the mission, Baird told Solomon there has been a request for financial assistance and development aid from Canada.
Baird confirmed "those are things Canada is considering."
Dozens of anti-war demonstrators picketed Saturday across the street from the U.S. consulate in Toronto to condemn NATO talks on the future of the Afghan mission ahead of the NATO summit in Chicago, which begins Sunday.
The NATO mission in Afghanistan is expected to be centre stage when leaders from 60 countries gather to discuss the war in Afghanistan and other international security issues.
The protesters said they're afraid that leaders at the summit will approve a plan that would keep foreign troops, including Canadian forces, in Afghanistan longer than originally scheduled.
"Rather than be a strong supporter of the occupation, I would like to see Canada strongly opposed to the U.S.-Afghan strategic partnership agreement," said Ali Ibrahimi of Afghans for Peace, one of the groups involved in the rally.
"I imagine a Canada that can be successful, be affluent and have influence in the world without the need to support injustice, to support people dying. So I would like our government to leas."
The demonstrators urged Ottawa to call back the soldiers now deployed on a training mission to the war-torn nation.
Several protests have already taken place in Chicago ahead of the summit, but the main one is set to coincide with the start of the meeting on Sunday.
So far, they have been largely peaceful. One man was arrested during a march on Friday, and three others were arrested in a raid on an apartment this week.
The three are accused of making Molotov cocktails in preparation for the summit and are being held on terrorism conspiracy charges.
Feb. 26, 1993 - A bomb explodes in the garage of the World Trade Center.
Truck bombs hit the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
The U.S.S. Cole came under attack in the Yemeni city of Aden.
Planes fly into the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon. Another plane crashes in Pennsylvania.
Explosion in the El Grhiba synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia.
Bombs explode in a nightclub in Bali, killing 202 people.
Suicide car bombers hit a hotel in Mombasa, Kenya.
Al Qaeda bombers hit Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Coordinated explosions hit Casablanca, Morocco.
The U.N. headquarters in Baghdad are hit by a truck filled with explosives.
Al Qaeda suicide bombers target a residential compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
More than 130 people are killed by bombs in four trains in Madrid.
Bombs explode in the London subway, killing 52 people.
Attacks on hotels in Amman, the Jordanian capital, are claimed by Al Qaeda in Iraq.
Suicide bombs explode in the Algerian capital Algiers.
Al Qaeda claims responsibilities for attacks on U.N. offices in Algiers.
Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is accused of attempting to bomb a U.S.-bound plane.
Suicide bombers hit hotels in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.
A French tourist is killed by al Qaeda in Morocco after being kidnapped in Niger.
Gunmen attack a church in Baghdad during Sunday mass.
Parcel bombs on their way to the United States are intercepted on planes in Britain and Dubai.
Two Frenchmen were found dead in Niger after being abducted by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
A bomb explodes in Morocco's tourist hub Marrakesh.