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Obama wraps up first foreign visit to Canada

Barack Obama wrapped up yesterday his seven-hour visit to Canada, the first foreign trip as US president, with pledging to work with Ottawa on global economic crisis and security issues.

world Updated: Feb 20, 2009 21:49 IST

Barack Obama wrapped up yesterday his seven-hour visit to Canada, the first foreign trip as US president, with pledging to work with Ottawa on global economic crisis and security issues.

Obama held talks with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, during which the two leaders expressed their committment for further cooperation in tackling the global economic crisis, climate change and terrorism.

Obama, who has increased the number of US troops in Afghanistan, said he did not press the Canadian prime minister on the withdrawal of Canadian troops in 2011.

Both described their talks as "constructive" and anticipated further strengthening of bilateral ties in the future.

Shortly before his departure, Obama held talks with Michael Ignatieff, leader of Canada's official opposition.

Officials from both sides hailed the visit as a token of the "special alliance" between the two neighbours.

In the afternoon, Obama boarded his Air Force One at the Ottawa Airport to return to Washington.

A group of Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) ceremonial guards, together with some government officials, saw the president off.