Quebec will strengthen its energy links with New York State, while respecting U.S. concerns over border security.

That was Jean Charest's message Wednesday as he began a two-day visit to New York City, a message the premier will likely repeat when he meets Thursday with New York Governor George Pataki.

The two met briefly Wednesday and Charest told Pataki Quebecers share New York's grief over the 9-11 terror.

He told New York reporters his government will co-operate fully with efforts to tighten border security.

Charest also said Quebec will maintain foreign delegations in New York and several other countries.

Wednesday night, the premier attended a U.S. Foreign Policy Association dinner where the guest speakers included U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.