Obama to welcome Canada PM Trudeau in March: White House

Washington: US President Barack Obama will welcome Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for talks on March 10, the White House has said, the Liberal leader’s first official visit since taking office in November.

The US president and First Lady Michelle Obama will also host a state dinner for Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, on the same date, the White House statement said yesterday.

“The visit will be an opportunity for the United States and Canada to deepen their bilateral relationship, which is one of the closest and most extensive in the world,” the White House said.

“The visit also is intended to advance cooperation on important bilateral and multilateral issues, such as energy and climate change, security, and the economy. ”

The 44-year-old Trudeau led his Liberal party to a landslide election victory on October 19, dealing a crushing blow to Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. He is the second-youngest prime minister in Canadian history.

He is also the son of the late Pierre Trudeau, considered the father of modern Canada, who served as prime minister from 1968 to 1979, and again from 1980 to 1984.

The younger Trudeau — a onetime bartender and snowboarding instructor who was slammed during the election campaign by his opponents as too inexperienced to rule — promised sweeping changes for Canada when he was sworn in last month.