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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rivers could rise rapidly as heavy rains hit Lower Mainland

Larger rivers to reach peak levels on Thursday or into Friday, according to high streamflow advisory

Transgender Surrey brothers debut fantasy novel as author duo Vincent Hunter

‘Transgender people are being misrepresented in popular fiction and media, and we aim to change that’

Two Surrey women win BC Sports Hall of Fame awards for inspired service

Jane Blaine and Wendy Pattenden recognized during virtual summit

Horgan says Surrey mayor opened ‘hornets’ nest’ with Surrey policing transition

Surrey election battle heating up over Doug McCallum’s controversial cop transition

Sullivan Heights, Tamanawis each report second COVID-19 exposures

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Mounties impound car of impaired driver celebrating birthday in North Vancouver

RCMP say the person was driving with their headlights off

UPDATE: Abbotsford high school killer back in court for ‘not criminally responsible’ hearing

Gabriel Klein was previously convicted of stabbing Letisha Reimer to death

Rainfall warning says significant showers forecast for entire region

Rain moving across Howe Sound, The Fraser Valley and northern parts of Metro Vancouver this morning.

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

‘Won’t be gathering for Thanksgiving:’ Trudeau says COVID-19 2nd wave underway

In all, COVID-19 has killed about 9,250 people in Canada

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Most Read