Harper, Obama to meet at White House

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will meet with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington on Friday.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama get ready to pose for the G20 group portrait during the summit in Toronto last June. Harper is travelling to Washington this week to hold bilateral talks with Obama, the Prime Minister's Office said Tuesday. ((Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press))
Prime Minister Stephen Harper will meet with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington on Friday, the offices of the two leaders confirmed.

Obama's press secretary said in a statement Tuesday that the president will welcome Harper to the White House to discuss the "important bilateral relationship and key global issues."

Harper's communications director, Dimitri Soudas, announced the meeting on Twitter earlier in the day.

CBC News has learned the two leaders are likely to talk about the clean energy dialogue raised in Obama's first visit to Canada in 2009.

It is not clear whether a rumoured border perimeter security deal will be a topic. But sources say the continued unrest in Egypt will likely be on the agenda as well, as Canada and the U.S. have similar positions.

Canadian officials have long been concerned that enhanced security in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States would hinder the flow of daily trade between the two countries along the border.

On Tuesday, U.S. senators Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins released a government watchdog's report that they said should "sound a loud alarm" over security gaps along the 6,400-kilometre U.S.-Canada border.

The report prepared by the Government Accountability Office for the Senate Homeland Security committee concluded that only 25 per cent of the border meets the U.S. Border Patrol's own standard for situational awareness.