Rice To Try Calming The Softwood Furor On Trip To Canada: U.S. Officials

Posted on Monday, October 24 at 10:22 by jensonj
State Department officials insist no offence has been taken south of the border. "The prime minister made Canada's position very clear and that's helpful," said a senior department official. "The ability to speak clearly is an important part of the relationship." Rice cancelled a visit to Ottawa in April after Canada decided not to join the U.S. missile defence plan. Her visit now is designed to soothe anxieties while putting a positive spin on efforts to deepen Canada-U.S. relations. That will be difficult since Canada has adopted the position that solving softwood is integral to moving forward in other areas, and the unresolved dispute is threatening future economic relations. The trip is not about "damage control," said the American official, who didn't want to be named. "The fact that she's going is important and it's positive. This is about reminding everyone about how important the relationship is. Our level of co-operation is profound," said the official, who noted there's been progress on the cattle trade and the Devils Lake water outlet opposed by Canada. http://www.cbc.ca/cp/business/051021/b102176.html [Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on October 25, 2005]

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