U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Ottawa on Tuesday to meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and express solidarity with Canadians after two soldiers were killed in violent attacks on Canadian soil.
Corporal Nathan Cirillo was shot dead last week while standing guard at the National War Memorial near Parliament Hill. Two days earlier, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent was struck and killed by a vehicle in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que. Canadian officials have characterized both attacks as acts of domestic terrorism.
During his visit, Mr. Kerry is expected to meet with Mr. Harper and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, several hours after a regimental funeral for Cpl. Cirillo in Hamilton. Mr. Harper is scheduled to attend the funeral before returning to Ottawa for the meeting. Mr. Baird will also hold a separate bilateral meeting with his U.S. counterpart.
Mr. Kerry will use the visit to "stand by Canadians" mourning the loss of the two soldiers, according to a statement from the Department of Foreign Affairs.
"Canada and the United States have been partners, allies and friends through good times, as well as through some of our most tragic moments in history," Mr. Baird said in the statement.
"President [Barack] Obama and Secretary Kerry were among the first people to reach out to Canada during the horrific events of last week. I am grateful that Secretary Kerry will visit Ottawa and stand by Canadians as we mourn the loss of Corporal Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and as we move forward in pursuit of our shared values."
Mr. Kerry is expected to discuss a range of international and bilateral issues with Mr. Baird, including the threat of Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, domestic security and cross-border trade and travel.
The pair will also discuss the future of Ukraine, the relationship between the United States and Canada, and co-operation on North American energy security, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.
The U.S. state department said Mr. Kerry will participate in a series of bilateral meetings and offer condolences to senior Canadian officials after last week's attacks. "He will also express America's solidarity with the Canadian people, reaffirming the close friendship and alliance between our countries," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.
"The Secretary will emphasize steadfast U.S. support for our Canadian partners, continued close co-operation in our shared approach to countering violent extremism, and our commitment to stand beside our Canadian neighbours and friends."
The visit will take place one day after the Canadian government tabled new legislation aimed at expanding the powers of Canada's spy agency. Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney said Monday that the bill would make it easier for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to share information with close allies, including the U.S.