03/05/2013 04:00 EST | Updated 05/04/2013 05:12 EDT

French prime minister to visit Ont. and Que. March 13-16

TORONTO - French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault will visit Canada between March 13 and 16 with stops in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City.

A statement from the French Consul-General‘s office says Ayrault will begin his visit in Ottawa and meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

They‘ll discuss such issues as Canada-France trade and the ongoing effort to achieve a free trade pact between Canada and the European Union.

The statement says the visit is also a chance to strength the historical friendship between the two countries, which was recently illustrated by Canada‘s support of the French mission to drive out al-Qaida-linked militants in Mali.

In Toronto, Ayrault will meet with Premier Kathleen Wynne before heading to Quebec to meet with Premier Pauline Marois.

Marois met with Ayrault and French President Francois Hollande in Paris last October.