323 words - February 11, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
"The Secretary felt very strongly that our Canadian neighbor and ally should be first," said US State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland. On February 8, 2013, US Secretary of State John Kerry held his first bilateral meeting with a counterpart, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird. Their discussion in Washington D.C. focused on ways to deepen cooperation across the "extensive US-Canada relationship, including in bilateral trade, investment, energy security and environment," explained Ms Nuland.
The two parties agreed on the importance of the bilateral relationship. In a congratulation message following the confirmation of Mr Kerry at his post, Mr Baird described the Canada-US relations as "the closest and most prosperous of any in the world." In addition to same values, a common history and a same entrepreneurial spirit, the two countries also share "a trillion dollars (USD) of bilateral trade relationship," Mr Kerry underlined. Indeed, Canada is the largest foreign energy supplier for the United States. Yet "many people in America (…) think (it is) the Mideast or some other part of the world," Kerry reminded.
On international topics, Mr Kerry thanked Mr Baird's leadership "on all of the global challenges" the two countries face and particularly welcomed Canada's increased humanitarian response in conflict zones. About Iran which is a top priority issue for the United States, the Canadian government led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper has toughened its stance, reinforcing sanctions and closing its Embassy in Tehran while building warmer ties with Israel.
From Canada's viewpoint, energy remains the "huge priority" topic it wants to reach an agreement on with the United States. Reiterating Canada's commitment to tackling environment challenges and to reducing GHG emissions, Mr Baird stressed the importance of the Keystone XL pipeline project that is at a standstill due to environmental concerns. Sources in Washington D.C. suggested President Barack Obama could finally approve this long-delayed project.
Parts of or the whole information published on this page is likely to originate from Official Institutions like Governments, Ministries, Embassies and States. Its reproduction on this page does not constitute any endorsement from DiploNews and any of its affiliates and/or partners. If titles are sometimes modified for better understanding, the contents are reproduced exactly as delivered by the institution that first published it. To know the exact origin, click on 'view original source' at the end of the page. All information that originates from DiploNews is copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without written express authorization from DiploNews.