Joe Biden, welcomed Friday as a "great friend" to Canada for his first official visit to the country, notably announced an agreement concerning the delicate subject of irregular immigration and mentioned the war in Ukraine.
The American president confirmed, before the Canadian Parliament, an agreement between the two neighboring countries concerning the complex subject of irregular immigration.
Washington and Ottawa will "work together to discourage illegal crossings" of their shared border, which exploded last year and caused a stir in the Canadian political sphere.
Joe Biden was applauded several times during his speech, in particular when he praised the commitment of the two countries to support Ukraine.
He also said in a joint conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that Beijing had not "yet" delivered weapons to Moscow, despite fears expressed about it by Westerners. "That doesn't mean they won't, but they haven't done it yet."
"I don't take China lightly. I don't take Russia lightly," said the Democrat, while also considering that the reports of their rapprochement had probably been "exaggerated".
Washington and Ottawa are among the countries that have provided strong support to kyiv since the invasion of its territory by Russian forces on February 24, 2021.
The immigration agreement also includes a commitment from Canada -- "welcomed" by Joe Biden on Friday -- to regularly welcome 15,000 additional migrants from across the Americas.
The United States and Canada, said the American president, are “two peoples” who share “the same heart”. And "in case of disagreement", they endeavor to solve their problems "with friendship and good will".
In the background of this announcement, the question of the "Roxham road": a makeshift route by which about 40,000 migrants arrived from the United States in Quebec last year, bypassing the official entry points.
Its closure is already worrying migrant aid organizations. "The impact on refugees in extreme danger is devastating. The result will be to push people either to attempt even more dangerous crossings in remote areas, or to push them towards smugglers", lamented Julia Sande, d 'Amnesty International, with AFP.
Another topic of discussion was Haiti, in the throes of extreme violence and a serious humanitarian crisis.
A Canadian government source had told AFP to expect an announcement of "significant funding" on Friday, relating to humanitarian aid and the training of Haitian law enforcement.
The United States would also welcome Canada playing a leading role in sending an international force to the Caribbean country.
Military spending is also up for debate, as Washington pushes for an effort by NATO members amid war in Ukraine and rising tensions with China.
Ottawa is far from devoting 2% of its gross domestic product to its defense budget, the threshold set for the countries of the transatlantic alliance.
The United States also wants a modernization of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (Norad).
Finally, the economy is an essential subject for the two neighbours.
Justin Trudeau, whose country is the United States' largest foreign trade client, told parliament on Friday: "We will continue to work together to create jobs, build healthier and more sustainable economies and societies. ."
The Canadian government source said it expected announcements on semiconductors and strengthening supply chains in North America at the joint press conference.
24/03/2023 23:05:28 - Ottawa (AFP) - © 2023 AFP