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Biden's first foreign leader call will be to Canada's Trudeau: White House

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WASHINGTON (AFP) – US President Joe Biden’s first call to a foreign leader will be to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Wednesday (Jan 20).

“His first foreign leader call will be on Friday with Prime Minister Trudeau,” Ms Psaki told reporters at her first White House briefing.

She said they would discuss the “important relationship with Canada” and the Biden administration’s decision to halt further construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline between Canada and the United States.

TC Energy, the Canadian company behind the pipeline, suspended construction of the partially completed oil conduit on Wednesday, saying it was “disappointed” and the move would mean thousands of lost jobs.

Canadian regulators approved the project in 2010 but it was blocked by president Barack Obama in 2015 due to environmental concerns – a decision that his successor Mr Donald Trump reversed in 2017.

The 1,947km pipeline, starting in 2023, was to transport up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day from the Alberta oil sands to Nebraska and then through an existing system to refineries in coastal Texas.