The two leaders are expected to try to put the differences over the Keystone XL pipeline behind them.
US President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are holding their first bilateral meeting on Tuesday, during which they will try to settle differences over the Keystone XL pipeline project and reset relations after the difficult years of Donald Trump’s presidency.
Biden and Trudeau are expected to discuss a wide range of issues, including climate change and China, a senior U.S. administration official told reporters.
Often, US presidents choose Canada for their first foreign trip, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting between the two leaders will take place in a virtual format.
According to a senior representative of the US administration, a joint document may be published following the meeting, which will set out various intergovernmental cooperation areas.
It is not yet clear whether the meeting will lead to any new agreement, including on the issue of the supply of American vaccines to Canada or on the situation with the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.
Biden is reportedly scheduled to discuss a wide range of security threats, from climate change and the coronavirus pandemic to China, Iran, Russia, and North Korea. According to a source in the administration, Biden will also address the issue of the financial contribution of allies to the activities of NATO.
In Ottawa, Biden’s decision to stop the construction of the $ 8 billion Keystone XL pipeline from pumping oil from the oil sands of Alberta to Nebraska and his proposed “Buy American” program to support American producers caused dissatisfaction.
According to a Canadian government source, Trudeau intends to show solidarity with the new US administration on many issues, including the fight against COVID-19, climate change, and foreign policy.
According to a Canadian source, the meeting started at 4 pm. A source in the US administration said that the event would begin with 45-minute talks between Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, and their Canadian counterparts.
This will be followed by an expanded meeting with a wider range of officials. Trudeau will be accompanied by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and other officials. Biden and Trudeau are expected to speak together around 5:45 pm.