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US Welcomes Charismatic Trudeau


President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walks through the colonnade to speak at a bilateral news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Thursday, March 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walks through the colonnade to speak at a bilateral news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Thursday, March 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)


U.S. President Barack Obama welcomed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the White House Thursday.

The day started with a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House. The two leaders traded compliments and jokes comfortably. Canada and the U.S. are strong allies, and the exchange between Obama and Trudeau showed that.

Obama told the audience that America and Canada share many customs and ideals. He cited anti-terrorism, universal health care, freedom of religion, and a love for ice hockey.

“The United States and Canada are blessed to be neighbors. By choice, we are steadfast allies and the closest of friends,” Obama said at the welcoming ceremony.

Canadian First Lady Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau and US First Lady Michell Obama watch, as US President Barack Obama and Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take part in a welcome ceremony, March 10, 2016.

Canadian First Lady Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau and US First Lady Michell Obama watch, as US President Barack Obama and Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take part in a welcome ceremony, March 10, 2016.

Trudeau, who is 44, campaigned in Canada last autumn on a message of hope and change. His political style is like Obama’s. While Trudeau joked with the president that Canada’s best exports to the U.S. are ice hockey players, he was serious about the bond between the nations.

“The relationship between our two countries has always been vital,” Trudeau said. “We remain united in a common purpose.”

Both leaders are also fighting climate change. Both leaders plan on putting the international climate control pact into practice.

Obama said: “Both nations are threatened by rising seas, melting permafrost, disappearing glaciers, and sea ice.”

The state dinner guest list included National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman and Canadian-born actors Michael J. Fox, Mike Myers and Ryan Reynolds.

It ended with a state dinner at the White House. The media gushed about Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, and their personal style.

It was the 10th state dinner the Obamas have hosted. The state dinner for Trudeau and his wife, Sophie was the first for a Canadian head of government since 1997.

I’m Dorothy Gundy.

Aru Pande reported on this story for VOA News. Jim Dresbach adapted this story for Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.

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Words in This Story

lawnn. an area of ground, such as the ground around a house or in a garden or park, that is covered with short grass

ice hockeyn. a game played on ice rink in which two teams try to shoot a puck into the opponent's goal

steadfastadj. very loyal to a person, belief or cause

vitaladj. extremely important

permafrostn. a layer of soil that is always frozen in very cold areas

glaciern. a very large area of ice that moves slowly over a wide area of land

gushedv. to speak excitedly

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