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Canada's PM Warns US Border Policy Could Harm Ties


Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is warning that U.S. efforts to tighten border security could harm relations between the two neighbors, and hand terrorists a victory.

After talks with President Bush at the White House Thursday, Mr. Harper said the United States and Canada share the closest ties that two countries have ever had. But the Canadian leader said recent U.S. legislation on border security could hinder the countless cultural, economic and other ties that make the ties so strong. The prime minister called on Congress to reconsider the measures.

The two men said they also discussed North Korea, Iran, Darfur and the war against terrorism. Mr. Bush thanked Canada for its contributions to the military efforts in Afghanistan.

At the end of a news conference, journalists and others sang "Happy Birthday" to Mr. Bush, who turned 60 today.

This is Mr. Harper's first official visit to Washington since his Conservative party won parliamentary elections in January.

The traditionally close ties between Canada and the United States were strained under Canada's previous government. It opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Relations appear to have improved somewhat under Mr. Harper's Conservative government.

Both sides recently reached a deal to resolve a 20-year dispute over softwood lumber subsidies.