- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 19, 2009

OTTAWA — President Barack Obama and his Canadian counterpart, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, are hailing an agreement to begin a clean-energy dialogue.

At a joint news conference Thursday, the two leaders talked about energy — one of several issues on the agenda for their first meeting.

Obama said the clean-energy dialogue is an “extraordinary beginning” because there is no silver bullet to solving the world’s energy problems. He said he expects the arrangement with Canada will move the two countries in the right direction as they deal with greenhouse gases that are blamed for climate change.

Harper said he was optimistic that Canada now has a partner on the North American continent to provide leadership on climate change.

Harper said there’s “no such thing” as a threat to the security of the United States that doesn’t also represent a threat to Canada.

Harper said Canada has made “significant investments” in security, and in border protection, since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States.

But he says there’s a “real challenge” in increasing border security in a way that doesn’t limit commerce and social interaction.

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