TORONTO: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Joe Biden discussed the upcoming bilateral climate summit as well as the coronavirus vaccination efforts in their respective countries during a call on Wednesday, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said.
\\”The Prime Minister looked forward to participating in the upcoming Leaders Summit on Climate hosted by the President, and highlighted the importance of increased global ambition in the fight against climate change,\\” the PMO said in a statement on Wednesday.
Trudeau and Biden agreed to launch a cross-border climate change forum during a virtual summit in February.
Despite differences on issues including Biden’s Keystone XL pipeline cancellation and the so-called \\”Buy America\\” policy, the two leaders have recognized climate change as an area of potential cooperation in an effort to rebuild bilateral relations.
The two leaders also discussed ongoing efforts to vaccinate the citizens of their respective countries as well as the United States’ loan of 1.5 million AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine doses to Canada amid a continued vaccine shortfall in Canada.
Biden reaffirmed the United States’ support for the two Canadian nationals – former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor – detained in China on espionage charges. The two leaders agreed on the need to work collaboratively to secure the release of the \\”two Michaels,\\” as the pair is referred to at home.
Kovrig and Spavor have now been detained in China for more than 800 days and Ottawa maintains that the detentions came in retaliation for Canada detaining Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in 2018 at the request of the United States.