German president in Canada for four-day visit including Arctic trip

Frank-Walter Steinmeier is slated to visit Tuktoyaktuk on Wednesday.

By Deutsche Presse-Agentur - April 24, 2023
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife Elke Buedenbender arrive to board an air force plane to fly to Canada. (DPA)

BERLIN — German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier began a four-day visit to Canada on Sunday, accompanied by a large business delegation.

He was received in Ottawa by Governor General Mary Simon on Sunday and was due to meet Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday.

The following day, Steinmeier plans to visit a fuel cell manufacturer on the other side of the country, in Vancouver, and see a pilot plant for smart energy systems.

The German head of state is accompanied by his wife Elke Büdenbender, Education and Research Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger as well as a large business delegation.

The trip ends on Wednesday with a visit to Canada’s far north, where Steinmeier wants to learn about the already visible consequences of climate change, including the thawing of the permafrost.

For this purpose, he will fly to the community of Tuktoyaktuk north of the Arctic Circle, home to a community of 900 people.

“Canada and Germany have always liked each other. But they have never needed each other as much as they do now,” the president’s office said in a statement, with reference to the Ukraine war.

Steinmeier’s visit comes after German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Economy Minister Robert Habeck travelled to Canada last August, when they agreed on long-term cooperation for the production and transport of hydrogen.

This article has been fact-checked by Arctic Today and Polar Research and Policy Initiative, with the support of the EMIF managed by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

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