The President of the United States welcomed as a "great friend" by Justin Trudeau. Joe Biden made his first official visit on Friday, March 24, to Canada where the two countries have forged an agreement on illegal immigration.

Washington and Ottawa will "work together to discourage illegal crossings" of their shared border, which exploded in 2022, the US president told Parliament. Joe Biden was repeatedly applauded by lawmakers standing during his speech, especially when he praised the commitment of both countries to support Ukraine.

Canada, certainly relieved to turn the page on Trump, rolled out the red carpet for the US president's visit, the first since 2009.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who received the US president for a family dinner upon his arrival, was full of kindness during the short stay of Joe Biden, who was to leave Friday night after a gala dinner. "It's a great pleasure to have a great friend here," said the Canadian leader, who had a very difficult relationship with former President Donald Trump.

The American president was not left out. Between a joke about his failed attempt to learn French and a joke about hockey, he evoked, lyrically, "two peoples" who share "the same heart" and who strive to solve their problems "with friendship and goodwill".

>> Canada-U.S. border: when migrants are turning back to the U.S.

Discussion on the situation in Haiti

As on immigration, therefore. The agreement announced Friday calls for Canada to regularly welcome an additional 15,000 migrants from across the Americas.

In the background of this announcement is "Roxham Road": a makeshift route through which about 40,000 migrants arrived from the United States in Quebec last year, bypassing official ports of entry.

Its closure is already worrying migrant aid organizations. "The result will be to push people either to attempt even more dangerous crossings in remote areas or to push them towards smugglers," Julia Sande of Amnesty International told AFP.

Another topic of discussion was Haiti, which is plagued by extreme violence and a serious humanitarian crisis. Justin Trudeau announced an envelope of 100 million Canadian dollars to support the training of Haitian law enforcement.

But Biden's visit did not result in an announcement about the possible sending of an international military force to the Caribbean country – a force that the United States believes should ideally be led by Canada. "We want to keep the Haitian people at the center of solutions to solve the crisis," said the Canadian Prime Minister.

"The serious problems China poses in the long term in the long term"

Military spending has also been debated, at a time when Washington is pushing for an effort by NATO members. The two countries promised, according to a White House statement, to "invest in modernizing" the North American Aerospace Defense Command (Norad), which plays a strategic role in air intrusion detection.

Canada and the United States have also promised to cooperate in the fight against trafficking in synthetic drugs, and through an investment by the American giant IBM in its plant in Bromont, Quebec.

Finally, and this is now unavoidable during the diplomatic tours of the American president, the question of China came to the table.

In their joint statement, Joe Biden and Justin Trudeau "acknowledge the serious long-term problems that China poses to the international order" and pledge to combat any foreign "interference". This comes on the heels of an investigation in Canada into allegations of Chinese interference in the last two federal elections.

At the press conference, Joe Biden was asked about the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping this week in Moscow.

"I don't take China lightly. I do not take Russia lightly," he said, stressing, however, that interpretations of a strong rapprochement between the two countries were "very exaggerated". "If anything has happened, it's that the West has closed ranks considerably," Biden said.

With AFP

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