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Obama heads to Canada on first foreign trip

President Barack Obama was making the 90-minute flight from Andrews Air Force base to Ottawa for talks likely to focus on trade, the global economic crisis and the Afghan war, for which Canada is a major provider of troops.

world Updated: Feb 19, 2009 21:50 IST

President Barack Obama headed north to Canada on Thursday on his first trip abroad since taking office last month.

The US leader was making the 90-minute flight from Andrews Air Force base to Ottawa for talks likely to focus on trade, the global economic crisis and the Afghan war, for which Canada is a major provider of troops.

Obama was due to hold talks and a joint press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and was als set to meet opposition Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff before heading home after a six-hour visit.

Canada is the largest US trade partner and a major source of energy for the staggering US economy.

Three of the past four presidents have made their first trip abroad to Canada, the exception being former president George W Bush who chose Mexico.