President Donald meets with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Winfield House, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019, in London. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Trudeau to hold first post-election meeting with Trump on NATO sidelines

The leaders are expected to discuss the free trade agreement

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will meet with U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday on the sidelines of a major gathering of NATO leaders.

The meeting between the Canadian and American leaders is the first since Trudeau won re-election in October and is expected to include discussions about the new Canada-U.S.-Mexico free trade deal.

The deal has become sharply debated in the U.S., where there are fading hopes Congress will ratify it by the end of the year.

Aside from his meeting with Trump, Trudeau is set to spend much of Tuesday working to strengthen the NATO military alliance, though all eyes in London will be on Trump.

The U.S. president met in the morning with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, where he took aim at French President Emmanuel Macron.

Macron last month had suggested the 70-year-old NATO military alliance was suffering from “brain death” because of a lack of communication and co-ordination between its 29 members. That included Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northeast Syria without notifying America’s allies.

In his meeting with Stoltenberg, Trump lashed out at Macron, saying France needed NATO far more than the U.S., which needed it the least of all allies. Trump did nonetheless say the alliance was important.

Trump has previously waffled between public support for NATO and questioning its worth during his time in the Oval Office, which has raised concerns about the alliance’s viability as global instability is on the rise.

For his part, Trudeau will seek to reinforce the importance of NATO during an event with his Dutch counterpart before heading to Buckingham Palace for a formal dinner with the Queen, Trump, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other NATO leaders.

Prior to that, he met with the president of Latvia, where he spoke of Canada’s contributions to the alliance — which includes 600 troops that are part of a multinational NATO force positioned there as a check against Russian aggression — and NATO’s vital role to Canadian security.

“It is the 70th anniversary of NATO,” Trudeau said while Egils Levits. ”It is an alliance that is incredibly successful, it has brought together countries who share values, who share perspectives to stand strong in a world that continues to be challenging and uncertain in many ways. This alliance at 70 is extremely important to Canada and to people around the world, and we’re going to continue to be dedicated to it.”

For his part, Levits thanked Canada for its contributions to Latvian and European security.

“For Latvia, I can say the transatlantic bond — that means Europe and Canada and the U.S. — are the cornerstones of our defence politics and of our foreign politics,” he said. “Because NATO is comprised of member states which share the same values: rule of law, democracy. And these values are to be defended. And we both, Canada and Latvia, are ready and willing to do so.”

NATO was established by the U.S., Canada and several Western European countries after the Second World War to guard against the Soviet Union.

The alliance has become a cornerstone of Canada’s defence from external threats and a driver in its relations with democratic Europe even as it has evolved to face the rise of terrorism, a newly assertive Russia and, more recently, China.

Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Second Avenue location home for Coal Town Goods

Fernie’s own Coal Town Goods moved to a new location on Second… Continue reading

City of Fernie flips the switch on holiday cheer

Residents of Fernie gathered at the courthouse on Friday night to watch… Continue reading

Judgement Night III seeking locals to step in the ring and take a hit for charity

Are you ready to rumble? If not, it’s time to start training.… Continue reading

New general director for francophone association

Exciting things are on the horizon for the Association Francophone des Rocheuses… Continue reading

First responders host holiday food drive

Frozen fingers knocked on doors around Fernie on Wednesday evening as part… Continue reading

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Brain injury from domestic abuse a ‘public health crisis,’ says B.C. researcher

Nearly 80% of the domestic violence victims who reported to police last year were women

Most Read