President Joe Biden will hold his first bilateral meeting with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau on Tuesday, the White House announced on Saturday.

In a statement, the White House has said that joe Biden & his Cabinet will also meet virtually with Canadian ministers on a range of bilateral & global issues, an event the neighboring countries said would highlight their strong & deep ties.

The meeting, which will be virtual due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, will aim to elevate collaboration on shared concerns at a time when the relationship between the close allies has been strained by Biden’s decision to block the Canada-backed Keystone XL pipeline.

However, it’s not Joe Biden’s first time to prioritise his Canadian counterpart, who also received the new president’s first call to a foreign leader just two days after taking office.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said it would be “an opportunity for the 2 leaders to review joint efforts in areas of mutual interest such as the Covid-19 response, climate change, & the economic ties that bind our countries, as well as the deep people-to-people bonds we share.

“The President Joe Biden will highlight the strong and deep partnership between the United States & Canada as neighbors, friends & NATO Allies,” she said.

Justin Trudeau called the US-Canada relationship “one of the strongest & deepest friendships between any two countries.”

“It is built on common values, strong ties between our people, & a shared geography … We will work together to end the COVID-19 pandemic & support people in both our countries,” he said in a statement.

Justin Trudeau was the first world leader to congratulate Joe Biden when he was declared the winner of the November US polls & his swift embrace illustrates the degree to which Canada, one of America’s closest allies, is looking forward to turning the page on the Donald Trump era.

Joe Biden later tweeted that he looked forward “to renewing the strong friendship between the USA & Canada & working to tackle the shared challenges we face.”

While Joe Biden has had at-times lengthy calls with several foreign leaders, next week’s meeting goes further by extending to lower-level meetings between Cabinet ministers, as have interactions with Mexico and several European allies.

Jow Biden revoked a permit for the Keystone pipeline, which would transport 830,000 barrels a day of carbon-intensive heavy crude from Canada’s Alberta to Nebraska, on his first day in office last month, as part of a flurry of executive orders aimed at curbing climate change.

Justin Trudeau said last month Canada will seek exemptions to a US effort to ensure federal agencies buy American-produced goods. The US move could hurt Canada, given how tightly the two nations’ economies are integrated.

The project, which was supported by Ottawa but criticised by environmentalists, was launched in 2008, before being blocked by former President Barack Obama’s administration. Under President Donald Trump, however, it was given the green light.

The 2 countries are in a shared standoff with China after Canada’s detention of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of China’s Huawei Technologies on a US. arrest warrant. Beijing detained and charged two Canadians with espionage after the detention of Meng, who remains under house arrest.


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