U.S. VP Pence thanks Canada for backing Syria strikes

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, meets with United States Vice President Mike Pence at the Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru on Saturday, April 14, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence is thanking Canada for supporting Friday night’s airstrikes against Syria, and says a successful North American free trade deal is close.

The comments came today as Pence sat down with Justin Trudeau on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas, where the prime minister reiterated Canada’s backing of the U.S., British and French attacks in Syria.

Trudeau described the strikes as “unfortunate but necessary” to stop the Syrian government from using chemical weapons, which Damascus has denied doing, while Pence said the U.S. was ready to sustain the effort to get results.

The two leaders also reiterated their mutual aspirations for a quick and successful NAFTA deal, with Pence saying the Trump administration was encouraged by the progress so far.

There had been hopes leading up to this weekend’s summit that an agreement might be signed, but that did not happen and Canadian, American and Mexican negotiators are currently in Washington working on a deal.

Pence also expressed condolences for those affected by the Humboldt bus crash.

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