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Christina Bellantoni

Christina Bellantoni

Posted February 19, 2009 | 09:53 AM (EST)

Environment top issue for POTUS' first foreign trip


First published at WashingtonTimes.com

OTTAWA, Canada -- The White House press charter just touched down ahead of President Obama, who arrives here on Air Force One later Thursday morning.

Thousands of Canadian Obama fans made the trip to the capital in hopes of catching a glimpse of the American president.

Obama has a packed day -- he will meet the queen's representative Governor General Michaelle Jean and her husband, flimmaker Jean-Daniel Lafond, at the airport upon arrival.

Then he'll travel to Parliament Hill for a ceremonial signing of the official guest book, then a working lunch with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, his deputies and lawmakers.

Obama and Harper will hold a joint press conference Thursday afternoon and take the traditional four questions -- two each.

Before heading back to the states the president will meet the opposition leader Michael Ignatieff of Canada's Liberal Party and address U.S. Embassy employees.

Meanwhile, the Canadian Press reported Thursday morning that sources from both nations were saying Harper and Obama would "announce an agreement that would serve as a building block towards a continental cap-and-trade system."

From the wire report:

"One American official said the leaders are expected to take a modest first step Thursday by announcing a clean-technology deal that would boost the practice of carbon capture and storage.That deeper integration would be a precursor to the loftier goal of North America-wide greenhouse gas targets  something that would require extensive negotiations."Some kind of cooperation on technology appears likely going forward (Thursday)," the U.S. official said."

 

An Obama aide on board the press charter would not confirm the report.

 

As we landed, I could see there's lots of snow on the ground. Now that we're about to load buses on the tarmac, I can report the snow is really coming down.  

"Welcome to the first international flight for the Obama administration," White House travel maestro Peter Newell announced when we landed.



Check back at WashingtonTimes.com for updates on the president's first foreign trip throughout the day.

Ask me anything! Please submit a question here for my online chat, scheduled for Monday at noon.

 Christina Bellantoni, White House correspondent,
The Washington Times

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