Clinton off to Canada for North America talks

By Matthew Lee
Associated Press / December 13, 2010

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Washington—Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is traveling to Canada on Monday for talks expected to focus on trade, security and fighting transnational crime with her Canadian and Mexican counterparts.

The meeting in Wakefield, Ontario, with Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon and Mexican Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa is aimed at boosting cooperation on those issues, as well as tackling the growing threat from Mexican drug cartels.

U.S. officials say the three will focus in particular on Central America and the Caribbean, notably the situation in Haiti. In Central America, there are rising fears of crime linked to drug trafficking spilling over from Colombia and Mexico, which are stepping up their counter-narcotics efforts. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the meetings.

The top diplomats are preparing for a meeting of the heads of state of the three countries, which will be held on an undetermined date in the first quarter of 2011.

Clinton will return to Washington later Monday.