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The agreement to place the binational planning group at our new Northern Command was also signed in December.
So we are disappointed that some of our closest allies, including Canada, have not agreed with us on the urgent need for this military action against Iraq.
Our ties are deep and long-standing. We are dependent on each other. And no matter what the issue of the day, whether it be softwood lumber, whether it be a war in Iraq, we need to continue to work together.
Much has been accomplished during the last year in the campaign against terrorism. This struggle will require vigilance, perseverance and sacrifice for many years to come.
Like Canada, we very much wanted the United Nations to be a relevant and effective body. But once those efforts failed, we no longer saw things from a multilateral perspective. For us, now, it is much more basic than that. It is about family.
Canada and the United States are also working at the World Trade Organization and in our own hemisphere with negotiations for a Trade Area of the Americas to try to help countries create a positive climate for investment and trade.
Canada is preparing to play a major role in the continued stability and security of Afghanistan through ISAF.
I do want to try to put things in perspective today relative to the U.S.-Canada relationship. I would like to start by talking about how important this relationship is to the people of the United States.
I want you to know that, despite what you might read at times in the newspapers or see on the television news, we have actually been getting a lot of things done the last several months, the U.S.-Canada relationship.
Ironically, the Canadian naval vessels, aircraft and personnel in the Persian Gulf I mentioned earlier who are fighting terrorism will provide more support indirectly to this war in Iraq than most of the 46 countries that are fully supporting our efforts there.
Let me close as I did in Gander on September 11, 2002 when I went to that community to thank the people of Gander and the people of Canada for the overwhelming support and help that was given to us in the wake of those attacks on September 11, 2001.
But Canada remains a crucial partner in this global war on terrorism, and we are grateful for that. Canadian naval vessels, aircraft and military personnel continue anti-terrorist operations in the Persian Gulf.
Another part of the global war on terrorism that Canada and the United States are working on together is in helping failed states, states like Afghanistan, where people have no voice.
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