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UPDATE 2-U.S. President Biden, Canada's Trudeau to meet virtually next week

·2 min read

(Adds comments by Trudeau, Biden and White House spokeswoman,adds details on U.S.-Canadian relations)

WASHINGTON, Feb 20 (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden onTuesday will hold his first bilateral meeting with CanadianPrime Minister Justin Trudeau, an event the neighboringcountries said would highlight their strong and deep ties.

The meeting, which will be virtual due to the coronaviruscrisis, will aim to elevate collaboration on shared concerns ata time when the relationship between the close allies has beenstrained by Biden's decision to block the Canada-backed KeystoneXL pipeline.

In a statement on Saturday, the White House said Biden andhis Cabinet will also meet virtually with Canadian ministers ona range of bilateral and global issues.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said it would be "anopportunity for the two leaders to review joint efforts in areasof mutual interest such as the COVID-19 response, climatechange, and the economic ties that bind our countries, as wellas the deep people-to-people bonds we share.

"The President will highlight the strong and deeppartnership between the United States and Canada as neighbors,friends and NATO Allies," she said.

Trudeau called the U.S.-Canada relationship "one of thestrongest and deepest friendships between any two countries."

"It is built on common values, strong ties between ourpeople, and a shared geography ... We will work together to endthe COVID-19 pandemic and support people in both our countries,"he said in a statement.

Trudeau was the first world leader to congratulate Bidenwhen he was declared the winner of the November U.S. electionand his swift embrace illustrates the degree to which Canada,one of America's closest allies, is looking forward to turningthe page on the Donald Trump era.

Biden later tweeted that he looked forward "to renewing thestrong friendship between the United States and Canada andworking to tackle the shared challenges we face."

While Biden has had at-times lengthy calls with severalforeign leaders, next week's meeting goes further by extendingto lower-level meetings between Cabinet ministers, as haveinteractions with Mexico and several European allies.

Biden revoked a permit for the Keystone pipeline, whichwould transport 830,000 barrels a day of carbon-intensive heavycrude from Canada's Alberta to Nebraska, on his first day inoffice last month, as part of a flurry of executive orders aimedat curbing climate change.

Trudeau said last month Canada will seek exemptions to aU.S. effort to ensure federal agencies buy American-producedgoods. The U.S. move could hurt Canada, given how tightly thetwo nations' economies are integrated.

The two countries are in a shared standoff with China afterCanada's detention of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer ofChina's Huawei Technologies on a U.S. arrest warrant.Beijing detained and charged two Canadians with espionage afterthe detention of Meng, who remains under house arrest.{nL1N2K42M6](Reporting by Lucia Mutikani, Trevor Hunnicutt, Tim Ahmann andDavid Brunnstrom in WashingtonEditing by Matthew Lewis)