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French PM Manuel Valls Wants Peacekeeping Update From Trudeau During Canada Visit

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OTTAWA — Officials say French Prime Minister Manuel Valls is anxious to hear from Justin Trudeau on Canada's plans for sending peacekeepers to West Africa to join the fight against Islamic militants.

Starting tonight, Valls is in Canada for a two-day visit where climate change and the free trade agreement with the European Union will be high priorities for his Canadian counterpart.

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French Prime Minister Manuel Valls speaks to media in Paris on July 15, 2016. (Photo: Thibault Camus/CP)

France, however, wants to know more about Canada's plan to deploy peacekeepers in Mali, the west African country at the epicentre of the rise and spread of extremism across that continent.

A French official, speaking on condition of anonymity, says the discussions between Canada and France have been progressing well in recent months.

Valls and Trudeau will travel to Montreal on Thursday for a luncheon hosted by Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard after a morning meeting on Parliament Hill.