President Joe Biden spoke to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in his first bilateral meeting with an international leader since assuming charge of the Oval Office. During their meeting, the two leaders highlighted their priorities around Beijing and climate change. Both leaders agreed to align climate change goals to achieve zero emissions by the end of 2050.
The newly-elected president further added that Washington would help Canada secure the release of two Canadians held by the Chinese regime. Traditionally, Canada has been the first place for an American president’s first foreign visit, but the pandemic outbreak affected Biden’s plans, and the first meeting was held remotely.
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On the other hand, experts suggest that Biden is determined to hit the reset button with Trudeau, with whom the former President Trump’s relation was considered rocky. Meanwhile, the Canadian Prime Minister also vowed to work with the US in battling the coronavirus pandemic and numerous other challenges. But unlike the traditional bilateral events, both leaders did not take questions from the media reporters.
In his opening remarks, Trudeau criticized the former American administration and thanked Biden for stepping up. Besides that, the two leaders did not publicly comment on the US cancelation of the Keystone XL pipeline project, which could have boosted oil supplies from Canada’s Alberta province to the American refineries.
In a phone call two days after Biden took office, Trudeau expressed his disappointment with Washington’s decision to cancel the project. Later, an American official said that the decision would not be reconsidered. Originally, the cancelation of the pipeline project was initiated under the Obama administration.
Apart from that, the environmental activists and several native Canadian groups have opposed the project for almost a decade, describing the pipeline as an environmental disaster and a major setback for efforts aimed to reduce the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels. On Tuesday, Jen Psaki, the White House spokesperson, told the news reporters that the President made it clear to Trudeau that the project was not in favor of the United States.
Another major issue for the two leaders was the detention of two Canadian citizens by the Chinese regime over spying. But Trudeau’s government has described it as retribution for the arrest of Huawei’s chief executive.
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