POLITICS

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to visit Ottawa Tuesday

10/27/2014 02:28 EDT | Updated 12/27/2014 05:59 EST
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Ottawa on Tuesday for bilateral meetings but also to personally express his condolences over the events last week that led to the deaths of two Canadian soldiers.

The State Department announced Kerry's planned trip Monday at its daily briefing in Washington, D.C.

Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Kerry will convey his condolences to senior Canadian officials following last week's attacks. Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was shot and killed while guarding the National War Memorial on Wednesday and the gunman, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau then ran to Parliament Hill and burst into the Hall of Honour carrying a gun. He was killed by sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers and his security team.

The Ottawa attack came soon after Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent was hit by a car in a targeted hit-and-run in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu in Quebec. The attacker in that incident was identified as Martin Couture-Rouleau, a suspected extremist whose passport had been seized earlier this year.

"[Kerry] will also express America's solidarity with the Canadian people, reaffirming the close friendship and alliance between our countries," Psaki said.

"The secretary will emphasize steadfast U.S. support for our Canadian partners, continued close cooperation and our shared approach to countering violent extremism and our commitment to stand beside our Canadian neighbours and friends," said Psaki.