WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau agree to meet next month as Washington and Ottawa seek a reset in relations after four years of tension under the previous president Donald Trump.
According to The Hill, Biden and Trudeau spoke over the phone on Friday in Biden’s first call with a foreign leader since he took office on Wednesday.
Trudeau’s office said in a readout of the conversation that the two agreed to “meet next month in order to advance the important work of renewing the deep and enduring friendship between Canada and the United States.”
However, it was not clear if the meeting would be in-person or virtual. The White House’s readout of the conversation said the two “agreed to speak again in a month,” and White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday that it would be “a bit of time” before Biden’s first foreign trip. Biden, Trudeau agree to meet after tensions
“The Prime Minister and the President recognized that both countries’ fundamental priority is to end the global Covid-19 pandemic. They discussed collaboration on vaccines and acknowledged that the two countries’ efforts are strengthened by existing exchanges of medical personnel and the flow of critical medical supplies,” according to the Canadian readout of the call as cited by The Hill.
It added, “The two leaders discussed working closely together to defeat COVID-19 by responding to new variants and following expert advice… The Prime Minister and President discussed their shared vision for sustainable economic recovery, creating jobs, and growing the middle class.”
The White House said that Biden acknowledged Trudeau’s “disappointment regarding the decision to rescind the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline” and reaffirmed his commitment to maintain an active bilateral dialogue and to further deepen cooperation with Canada.
“The President and the Prime Minister discussed their shared vision to promote a sustainable economic recovery and to work together to achieve a net-zero emissions future, including through advancements in the automotive sector,” The White House said.
The Trump administration adopted a more ‘adversarial stance’ with Ottowa, slapping tariffs on Canadian products and insisting on scrapping the North American Free Trade Agreement and replacing it with a new deal.
The Hill reported that Trump also panned Trudeau as “very dishonest and weak,” and Peter Navarro, Trump’s trade adviser, once said “there’s a special place in hell” for the prime minister.
“We have so much alignment — not just me and President Biden, but Canadians and President Biden,” Trudeau said at a press briefing earlier Friday and added, “I’m very much looking forward to working with President Biden.” (ANI)