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Bush Plans North America Summit Despite Canada Rebuff on Missile Shield

President Bush plans to meet with the leaders of Canada and Mexico this month, despite Ottawa's decision not to take part in the U.S. missile defense system.

Confirmation that Mr. Bush will attend the three-way summit came Tuesday from a White House spokesman Scott McClellan. He said Washington will continue to work with Ottawa on shared defense priorities.

But U.S. officials have expressed irritation at Canada's decision not to join the missile defense shield project. Bilateral ties have been strained since Canada opposed the war in Iraq.

Earlier today, a U.S. official said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has put off plans to visit Canada because of its decision on the missile system.

The summit between Mr. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin and Mexican President Vicente Fox is expected to take place March 23rd in Mexico City.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.