Harper congratulates Obama on election win

Stephen Harper. (Reuters files)

Stephen Harper. (Reuters files)

David Akin, Parliamentary Bureau Chief

, Last Updated: 4:39 PM ET

BANGALORE, India – Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama spoke Thursday by phone for the first time since Obama’s re-election -- an opportunity Harper used to press Obama to fix America's economic woes.

“The Prime Minister extended his sincere congratulations to the president on his victory and wished him well on his second term,” Harper’s aides said in a statement.

“In the context of the global economic situation, Prime Minister Harper used the opportunity to convey to the president the importance of the White House and Congress working together to tackle the U.S. fiscal situation.”

Harper’s aides did not say how long the two men spoke. The call was made at about 9 p.m. local time. For Obama in Washington it was about 10:30 a.m.

Harper’s aides did say there was no mention of the Keystone pipeline project during the call.

Earlier in Bangalore Thursday, Harper said he was “optimistic” the project would proceed.

But he also said the economies of Canada and the world are at risk if Washington cannot sort out its budget problems

“Obviously, the world would be immensely helped if the Americans could deal with this immediate issue and the Europeans could accelerate progress on their debt issues,” Harper said.

 


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