Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Biden Calls on Trudeau to Defend International 'Rules of the Road'

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Biden Calls on Trudeau to Defend International 'Rules of the Road'

Article excerpt

Biden calls Trudeau to defend global "rules"


OTTAWA - U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to be a defender of the international "rules of the road" to help shepherd the world through a period of deep uncertainty.

Biden delivered that message in a stirring speech at a state dinner in his honour in Ottawa on Thursday night, in which he singled out the fight against climate change as the most important issue of this generation.

Biden didn't mention president-elect Donald Trump by name but he made veiled references to the uncertainty gripping Europe and the United States since Britain's decision to leave the European Union and the recent presidential election in his own country.

Biden said the world would make enormous progress -- but only if leaders such Trudeau and German Chancellor Angela Merkel stepped up.

"The changes that are going to take place are going to be astronomical," Biden said.

"The progress is going to be made but it's going to take men like you Mr. prime minister, who understand it has to fit within the context of a liberal economic order, a liberal international order, where there's basic rules of the road."

Biden praised Canada as an ally and a friend, one that the U.S. needs more than ever. He singled out the joint fight against Islamic militants in Syria and Iraq, bolstering Eastern European allies against Russia and combating climate change, "the most consequential issue of our generation."

Biden said that when he looks at the "ebb and flow" of the world, there are periods when genuine leaders are in short supply.

"I've never seen Europe engage in as much self-doubt as they are now," Biden said.

"There's a lot of soul searching going on in Europe and you saw some of it my country."

Biden delivered his message to a gala audience of former prime ministers, current provincial premiers and other dignitaries.

Biden said he would be discussing climate change when he attends Friday's meeting of provincial premiers and aboriginal leaders in Ottawa.

Earlier Thursday, Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion said Canada will push the incoming Trump administration to be an ally in the fight against climate change. …

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