WASHINGTON - Joe Biden called Stephen Harper on Thursday to thank him for Canada's recent commitment to contribute funds to Afghan security forces, the vice-president's office said.
The call came in the wake of the recent NATO summit in Chicago, where the prime minister rejected a call from the alliance to extend Canada's current training mission in the war-torn country, insisting instead that Canadian troops would be out of Afghanistan by the end of March 2014.
Harper did, however, pledge $330 million to support Afghan National Security Forces for three years starting in 2015 — the apparent subject of Biden's phone call.
U.S. President Barack Obama, meantime, also made some phone calls to world leaders this week. The president had a videoconference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti to discuss "developments in Europe."
"Leaders agreed to continue to consult closely as they prepare to meet at the G20 summit in Mexico next month," the White House said in a statement.
The call was a followup to the recent Group of Eight summit at Camp David and another conference of the European Union last week, the White House said.
Europe's debt crisis was the key topic of discussion at both summits, as Obama pushed Merkel to ease up on austerity measures.
Merkel had advocated increased austerity in the European Union. Obama, meantime, argued forcefully at Camp David that a one-size-fits-all austerity approach is too risky and that a pro-growth policy was the route to take.
Al Qaeda Attacks Timeline
Feb. 26, 1993 - A bomb explodes in the garage of the World Trade Center.
Aug. 7, 1998
Truck bombs hit the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
Oct. 12, 2000
The U.S.S. Cole came under attack in the Yemeni city of Aden.
Sept. 11, 2001
Planes fly into the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon. Another plane crashes in Pennsylvania.
April 11, 2002
Explosion in the El Grhiba synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia.
Oct. 12, 2002
Bombs explode in a nightclub in Bali, killing 202 people.
Nov. 28, 2002
Suicide car bombers hit a hotel in Mombasa, Kenya.
May 12, 2003
Al Qaeda bombers hit Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
May 16, 2003
Coordinated explosions hit Casablanca, Morocco.
Aug. 19, 2003
The U.N. headquarters in Baghdad are hit by a truck filled with explosives.
Nov. 9, 2003
Al Qaeda suicide bombers target a residential compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
March 11, 2004
More than 130 people are killed by bombs in four trains in Madrid.
July 7, 2005
Bombs explode in the London subway, killing 52 people.
Nov. 9, 2005
Attacks on hotels in Amman, the Jordanian capital, are claimed by Al Qaeda in Iraq.
April 11, 2007
Suicide bombs explode in the Algerian capital Algiers.
Dec. 11, 2007
Al Qaeda claims responsibilities for attacks on U.N. offices in Algiers.
Dec. 25, 2009
Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is accused of attempting to bomb a U.S.-bound plane.
Jan. 25, 2010
Suicide bombers hit hotels in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.
A French tourist is killed by al Qaeda in Morocco after being kidnapped in Niger.
Oct. 31, 2010
Gunmen attack a church in Baghdad during Sunday mass.
Nov. 5, 2010
Parcel bombs on their way to the United States are intercepted on planes in Britain and Dubai.
Two Frenchmen were found dead in Niger after being abducted by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
April 28, 2011
A bomb explodes in Morocco's tourist hub Marrakesh.