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

Embrace growth or risk losing incorporation, says Cache Creek mayor

Public hearing on rezoning raises concerns about increased traffic and noise

Clinton man faces first degree murder charge for 2018 homicide at Deep Creek

Wyatt Boffa, 29 has been charged in the death of Jamie Sellars Baldwin, 43,

Toys for Joys helps give local children a Merry Christmas

This year’s event brought in cash donations and toys and provided donors with a hot breakfast

Snowfall warning continues for parts of B.C.’s Interior

First significant snowfall of the season prompts Environment Canada warning

Highway 1 reopens to traffic near Yale

A rockfall closed the highway for several hours

B.C. woman charged in connection to stolen vehicle smash-up in Kamloops

Kersten Ina Peters was arrested in the Fraser Valley on Friday, Dec. 6

VIDEO: Harbour Air makes history with first electric aircraft test flight

Successful flight marks first of its kind in the world

Salmonella outbreak in Canada linked to rodents and snakes

92 cases of salmonella across six provinces, including B.C.

Meng Wanzhou wins right to more documents involving arrest at Vancouver airport

Defence lawyers allege the Huawei executive was unlawfully detained, searched and interrogated

Truck with body inside found at bottom of lake near Kootenay ferry

Investigators believe no foul play is expected but are unsure how the vehicle ended up in the Arrow Lakes

VIDEO: Calgary man narrowly escapes from avalanche while running at Lake Louise

Bryon Howard caught the entire wild experience on camera

PHOTOS: Competitive Christmas light display takes sarcastic turn in Princeton

Heather King of Princeton took a creative and stress-free approach to her holiday display this year

RCMP asks Kootenay cannabis shop to remove image of famous Mountie from storefront

Owner happy to comply with RCMP, but wants more information first

Most Read