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WASHINGTON, Feb 21 — Joe Biden will attend his first, albeit virtual, bilateral meeting as US president on Tuesday, with the honour going to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
It’s not Biden’s first time to prioritise his Canadian counterpart, who also received the new president’s first call to a foreign leader just two days after taking office.
The virtual meeting will allow the two “to review joint efforts” on matters such as Covid-19 and climate change, according to a White House statement issued yesterday.
The White House did not mention the Keystone XL pipeline connecting the Alberta oil sands to coastal refineries in Texas, which became a highly sensitive issue after Biden decided to block its completion.
The project, which was supported by Ottawa but criticised by environmentalists, was launched in 2008, before being blocked by former president Barack Obama’s administration. Under president Donald Trump, however, it was given the green light.
Biden campaigned in part on rescinding the Trump administration’s permit for the project, part of a larger promise to fight climate change.
Trudeau has expressed disappointment at Biden’s move to scrap the pipeline. — AFP
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