WASHINGTON, March 10 (KUNA) -- US President Barack Obama on Thursday welcomed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the White House for his first official visit, and commended Canada's admission of more than 25,000 Syrian refugees since October.
Trudeau showed "compassionate leadership on this front," Obama told reporters.
While the president noted his own Administration's efforts "to safely welcome refugees from that conflict," the US has only admitted some 841 Syrians since October. Last year, Obama pledged to bring in 10,000 Syrians during fiscal year 2016.
The two countries are also heavily engaged in the battle against the so-called Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.
Although Trudeau decided to end his country's participation in anti-IS airstrikes last month, he has significantly increased the amount of military personnel on the ground in Iraq, in a move that was lauded by the Pentagon.
Canada will also continue to refuel its allies' aircrafts, Trudeau said.
"Canada is an extraordinarily valued member of the global coalition fighting IS, tripling its personnel to help train and advise forces in Iraq, stepping up its intelligence efforts in the region and providing critical humanitarian support," Obama said.
Among the key issues being discussed by the two leaders is border security along the more than 5,000 mile stretch that separates the two countries, and the US has requested that Canadian officials share information on travelers in order to tackle potential terror threats.
"We're working closely together to prevent the flow of foreign fighters, and today, we agreed to share more information, including with respect to our no-fly lists and full implementation of our entry- exit system even as we uphold the privacy and civil liberties of our respective citizens," the president said.
Climate change was also on the agenda, with both leaders announcing steps toward fully implementing the recent Paris accord.
"Canada is joining us in our aggressive goal to bring down methane emissions in the oil and gas sectors in both of our countries, and together, we're going to move swiftly to establish comprehensive standards to meet that goal. We're also going to work together to phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and to limit carbon emissions from international aviation," Obama said.
For his part, Trudeau extended his "deepest thanks to Barack for his leadership on the climate change file to date."
I want to assure the American people that they have a real partner in Canada," the prime minister said. (end)