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Americas

Trudeau, Macron defend Ceta free-trade deal in Paris

media French President Emmanuel Macron (L) with Canadian Prime Minsiter Justin Trudeau on Monday REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau exchanged hugs on the steps of France's Elysée presidential palace and hailed their "convergence of views" on the first day of Canadian prime minister's two-day visit to Paris.

Speaking mostly in French, Trudeau ended his remarks with praise for the "friendship" between the two leaders, a contrast with his often difficult relationship with US President Donald Trump.

"Canada, France and Europe are extremely aligned," he said.

"We have an extremely close convergence of views," Macron said during the press conference, which came after a working lunch and talks.

Their talks covered trade, the war in Syria and an upcoming summit of G7 countries, which will be hosted by Canada in June.

The pair, both in their 40s, praised the Ceta free-trade agreement between Canada and the European Union, which has been provisionally in operation since last September in anticipation of ratification by European parliaments.

Although French farmers claim the deal is responsible for dumping, Trudeau declared that it "represents a new standard for trade deals that could be signed in the future" and Macron said it "corresponds to our values", reconciling economic, environmental, social and health concerns.

That was not the view of French Green MEP Yannick Jadot, who in a letter published on Tuesday called on Macron to stop its ratification, as well as stopping negotiation with the Latin American free-trade zone Mercosur.

Ceta means "importing shale gas and fuel from oil sands, the most polluting oil" as well as "health and environmental risks arising from GM products and endocrine disruptors, Jadot argued.

Trudeau was to address the French parliament on Tuesday.

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