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AKIPRESS.COM - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, whose emphasis on welcoming refugees has been at odds with the harsher stance of the Trump administration, on Wednesday night brought Ivanka Trump to a Broadway show that celebrates generosity toward foreigners in need.
The surprise pairing at the new musical “Come From Away” was rich with symbolism, as Mr. Trudeau tries to maintain his country’s close relationship with the United States despite substantial differences in public policy. Ms. Trump, the president’s daughter and a close adviser, sat in Row F between Mr. Trudeau and Nikki R. Haley, the American ambassador to the United Nations, and directly behind a former Canadian prime minister, Jean Chrétien.
Mr Trudeau is taking his pro-trade message directly to Americans. Mr Trudeau emphasised the benefits of Canada-US trade on jobs and the economy in an interview with NBC News.
It is a well-worn message for Mr Trudeau, but one he is keen to promote before North American Free Trade Agreement talks launch. Mr Trudeau spoke to the network from New York as he attended the show.
The musical production is based on the true story of how the small town of Gander, Newfoundland, welcomed some 7,000 air travellers stranded in the days after the 9/11 terror attacks when the US closed its airspace.
It recently opened in New York City after a successful run in Canada, and its heart-warming storyline was the perfect medium to help transmit Mr Trudeau's message of the importance of the longstanding ties between the two countries.
In remarks before the show, Mr Trudeau said: "We have a friendship between our two countries that are like no other".
His press secretary said on Thursday that "we embrace the opportunity to highlight how we are there for each other in times of need".
The audience on Wednesday was filled with political glitterati, included Ivanka Trump as a guest, who sat near to UN ambassador Nikki Haley and Mr Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau during the evening's entertainment.
Mr Trudeau and Ms Trump had met previously when she helped host a summit on women business leaders and entrepreneurs when the Canadian prime minister visited Washington earlier this year.