A return to normal. Tradition has it that the first official trip of a newly installed US president to the White House is reserved for his historic ally and immediate neighbor, Canada. Donald Trump was an exception to the rule: Justin Trudeau had to travel to Washington in February 2017 to be able to meet him. A defection which had augured four years of tumultuous relations subsequently experienced by the two men.

Tuesday, February 23, Covid-19 requires, it is virtually that Democratic President Joe Biden hosted the Canadian Prime Minister for his first official summit held with a foreign leader. Surrounded respectively by their close – and masked – team, including Vice President Kamala Harris and the President’s Special Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, on the US side, and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland on the Canadian side, the two leaders have displayed their common desire to reinvigorate the US-Canada relationship.

Concert work

From the first minutes of this videoconference meeting, the change of tone was obvious between the two partners, compared to the one that prevailed under the mandate of Donald Trump. “The United States has no closer friend than Canada”, insisted on Joe Biden’s introduction. “Thank you again for stepping up your efforts to fight climate change, we had really missed American leadership for a few years”, Justin Trudeau responded immediately.

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Kamala Harris even exchanged a few words in French to praise the “Very good years spent in Montreal during [son] adolescence “, when the Canadian Deputy Prime Minister assured him that his election was, for women, “And especially African-Canadian women, a source of inspiration”.

This first working meeting especially allowed the leaders of the two countries to reaffirm that they were ready to work together, around common values ​​- multilateralism is one of them, and the two men expressed their support for the World Organization of health – and shared priorities. Such as that of working closely together to support an economic recovery after the pandemic “On both sides of the border”, which will benefit everyone, and not “Only to the richest”, they said in turn.

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Climate convergence

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