President Joe Biden on Friday reaffirmed the strong relationship between the U.S. and Canada, saying in an address to the Canadian Parliament that the two countries “have built a partnership that is an incredible advantage to both our nations.”
“No two nations on earth are bound by such close ties friendship, family, commerce and culture. Our labor unions cross borders, so do our sports leagues, baseball, basketball, hockey,” Biden said in Ottawa during his first visit to Canada as president.
Biden listed many of the areas of cooperation between the U.S. and Canada, including bolstering Ukraine’s defenses against military attacks from Russia.
After his speech, Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a new agreement on migrants and asylum-seekers. Trudeau has said he wants help from the Biden administration to stem the flow of migrants into his country from the U.S. who are claiming asylum.
The new policy would apply to people caught within 14 days of crossing the U.S.-Canada border without citizenship in either country. Canada also committed to taking in an additional 15,000 migrants next year from the Western Hemisphere on a humanitarian basis.
Illegal crossings into the U.S. from Canada have climbed to historically high levels, although they are still a fraction of the crossings into the U.S. from Mexico.
In their joint statement, Biden and Trudeau also described how they would approach issues regarding China, instability in Haiti and NORAD.
“We disagree in degree on things occasionally,” Biden said in brief remarks ahead of one of his meetings with Trudeau. “But there’s no fundamental difference in the democratic values.”
Trudeau touted his country’s relationship with the U.S., saying Canada has “no greater friend and ally than the United States.”
At the other bilateral meeting, Biden sat at a long table with key members of his administration — including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, national security adviser Jake Sullivan, and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm — across from their Canadian counterparts.
In the evening, Biden and the first lady will attend a gala dinner hosted by Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau.
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com