After stumble, Trudeau glides through world trip

Nov 20, 2015, 12:45 AM EST
Justin Trudeau speaks at the University of Waterloo in 2006.
Mohammad Jangda/Flickr

New Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau started his first international trip with a stumble before recovering to impress world leaders keen to bask in the success of his big election win last month.

Writes Reuters:

The 43-year-old with film star looks was the center of attention at a Group of 20 summit in Turkey and a meeting of Asia-Pacific leaders in Manila, where he survived a mobbing by enthusiastic onlookers. But Trudeau cannot survive on smiles and pleasant words alone, warns Fen Hampson of the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo, Ontario. "His likeability ratings are off the charts and he is getting good reviews from foreign leaders, but it will only take him so far unless Canada is also seen to be willing to do some of the heavy lifting," he said.

For example, U.S. President Barack Obama wants Trudeau to commit long-term to the U.S.-led military mission against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, while NATO members are unhappy Ottawa is not spending enough money on defense. Trudeau's center-left Liberals won power last month promising Canada would play a bigger global role than it had done under the inward-looking Conservatives of Stephen Harper. Obama had little in common with the right-leaning Harper and was clearly delighted to talk to Trudeau on Thursday in Manila. "We've seen the incredible excitement that Justin generated during his campaign in Canada. We're confident that he's going to be able to provide a great boost of energy and reform to the Canadian political landscape," Obama said.

NDTV reports:

Trudeau says Canada will keep doing "more than its part" to defend against ISIS. He has recently pledged to send more military trainers to Iraq as part of that effort.

Obama says Trudeau is a "great boost of energy" for Canada's political landscape. He says he invited Trudeau for a White House visit that will hopefully come early next year.