Canada's Trudeau balks at potential troop deployment on U.S. border

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada wants its long border with the United States to remain free of a U.S. military presence, even as cases of coronavirus grow rapidly in both nations, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday.

The Canadian leader's comments were in response to reports the Trump administration was considering the temporary deployment of troops near the frontier to prevent irregular border crossings, according to a senior government source.

"Canada and the United States have the longest unmilitarised borders in the world and it is very much in both of our interests for it to remain that way," Trudeau said.

"We have been in discussions with the United States on this," he told a news conference, without giving details.

Canada has already closed the border to non-essential travel from the United States as part of a bid to combat coronavirus. The state of New York, which shares a border with Canada, has been an epicenter of the U.S. outbreak.

Trudeau said Ottawa was in constant touch with U.S. authorities and would adjust border security measures if needed.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Tom Brown)

03/26/2020 16:32

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