U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to the NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium on Wednesday, July 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Trudeau, Trump to come face-to-face at NATO for first time since G7 in Quebec

The leaders are in Brussels today for the 2018 North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will come face-to-face with U.S. President Donald Trump for the first time since the explosive end to the G7 meetings in Quebec last month that ended with Trump accusing Trudeau of being “very dishonest and weak.”

The leaders are in Brussels today for the 2018 North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit — a meeting that promises to be anything but boring thanks to Trump’s very presence.

As he was leaving the United States for the NATO meetings Tuesday, Trump published multiple tweets, slamming the European Union and other ally nations for not meeting their two per cent spending targets on defence — a benchmark agreed to at the 2014 summit in Wales.

His appearance at NATO comes just ahead of another summit between himself and Russian President Vladimir Putin, a meeting many have questioned in light of rising aggression coming from Russia in the Baltic region.

On Tuesday, Trudeau said Canada continues to “deplore Russia’s interference and illegal actions.”

Related: Canada will not double its defence budget despite calls from Trump: Trudeau

Related: Trump’s calling Trudeau ‘dishonest and weak’ sparks calls for calm

Related: Trump heads to Europe to face nervous NATO leaders

But while he acknowledged the tensions between Canada and the U.S. playing out in a trade dispute triggered by American tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, Trudeau said the U.S. remains a close friend and trading partner regardless of who is prime minister or president.

“We are two countries that are more closely integrated on trade and security on people-to-people ties than any two countries in the world. We are closest neighbours, strongest allies and, yes, best friends,” he said.

“In any relationship of this size and scope, there are going to be moments of contention and moments where we get along better, but through all this the flow of goods and opportunities on both sides of our border continue.”

Trudeau said he hopes the two nations can “get through this” in order to continue working on the modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Meetings like the NATO summit often give world leaders the opportunity to hold bilateral meetings on key issues of concern or interest.

But as of Tuesday night, Trudeau had no bilateral meetings planned with Trump during the two-day summit.

Leaders will hold multiple closed-door discussions that usually end with a final communique agreed to by all member states.

Teresa Wright, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Long-awaited Campbell River mountain bike park close to beginning ‘Phase 1’

‘There seems to be a disconnect between where it’s at and where people think it’s at’

Campbell River’s ‘school of hack’ gives kids inside computing edge

Teachers take ‘hacking’ back to its roots with school program

UPDATED: Man survived for ‘days’ trapped in smashed truck north of Campbell River

Duncan Moffat, 23, found by hunter beside Hwy. 19 near Sayward

Gas prices on Vancouver Island to drop six cents

But a ‘volatile’ market could lead to increases in the coming weeks

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Children’s strawberry-flavoured medicines recalled due to faulty safety cap

Three different acetaminophen syrups part of nationwide recall

Around the BCHL: Junior A cities to host World Junior tuneup games

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

International students hit hard by B.C. tuition fee hikes

Campaign seeks regulatory controls be imposed on post-secondary institutions

Trudeau pushes for more Saudi accountability in Khashoggi killing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is still seeking clear answers from Saudi Arabia about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi

School bullying video shows how people with disabilities are devalued: advocates

Brett Corbett, who has cerebral palsy, is seen in a video being stepped while lying in water

CFL will use extra on-field official to watch for illegal blows to quarterback

If the extra official sees an illegal blow that has not already been flagged, they will advise the head referee, who can then assess a penalty for roughing the passer

Older B.C. drivers subsidizing younger ones, study finds

ICBC protects higher-risk drivers, pays for testing costs

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh weighs in on Vancouver Island fishing ban

Singh and MacGregor say improving salmon abundance is important

Most Read