Canada’s Trudeau first world leader to congratulate Biden over phone

While several global leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi have congratulated Biden, Trudeau was the first to call him to convey his wishes for the success of the incoming Biden Administration.
A file photo of Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with then US Vice President Joe Biden during a meeting in Trudeau's office on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on December 9, 2016.(REUTERS)
A file photo of Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with then US Vice President Joe Biden during a meeting in Trudeau's office on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on December 9, 2016.(REUTERS)
Updated on Nov 10, 2020 12:07 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Toronto | ByAnirudh Bhattacharyya , edited by Vinod Janardhanan

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau became the first major world leader to speak to the US President-elect over phone, discussing the Covid-19 pandemic, China, and climate crisis.

While several global leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi have congratulated Biden, Trudeau was the first to call him to convey his wishes for the success of the incoming Biden Administration.

A readout from the Canadian PMO said that Trudeau “spoke with the President-elect of the United States of America, Joe Biden, to congratulate him, as well as Vice-President-elect, Kamala Harris, on their election win.”

China was among the major topics raised during the dialogue as the leaders discussed the “cases of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who have been arbitrarily detained in China.”

The two Canadians were arrested by China in what Trudeau has described as “hostage diplomacy”, following the detention of a senior executive of the Chinese telecommunication firm Huawei in late 2018 in Vancouver in a case related to defrauding a bank to elude sanctions on Iran.

The leaders of the neighbouring nations also “agreed on the importance of the unique Canada-US partnership”.

The coronavirus crisis was an important issue as they “committed to work together to fight the global Covid-19 pandemic and to support a sustainable economic recovery in both countries and the hemisphere.”

They also “looked forward” to engaging with regard to NATO and the G7 while “cooperating on the fight against climate change, on migration, and on global security.”

The Canadian government and the administration of President Donald Trump have often been at loggerheads particularly over tariffs imposed on products bound for the US.

A positive note was struck in this regard, as the statement said Biden and Trudeau “looked forward to further strengthening the Canada-US relationship and to engaging on key issues, including trade, softwood lumber, Buy America, and energy cooperation such as Keystone XL (pipeline).”

They also focused on the importance of “addressing anti-Black racism.”

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