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By IBTimes Staff Reporter | February 24, 2013 11:20 PM PST

Jean-Marc Ayrult, prime minister of French Republic, and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper are scheduled to meet March 13 and 14 to discuss a wide range of issues including French mission in Mali.

The two countries scheduled the highest level of meeting amid ongoing French mission in Mali, where the French troops with the help of Canadian air force are struggling against the rebel groups in Mali.

This will be the first official visit by Jean-Marc Ayrult to Canada since his election as the prime minister last May.

"The visit will provide an opportunity for both leaders to discuss matters of shared interest, including the global economy, trade and investment, progress towards a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union, and international matters such as the situation in Mali," Stephen Harper said in a press release Sunday.

Hailing the ties between France and Canada as historical, cultural and linguistic relationship, Harper said the upcoming meeting would deepen the relationship between the two countries.

"Canada's relationship with France is rooted in our deep historic, cultural and linguistic ties. Our countries are key commercial partners and cooperate closely on global issues of strategic importance," said the prime minister. "I look forward to welcoming Prime Minister Ayrault to Ottawa and exploring ways to further deepen the strong Canada-France relationship," added Stephen Harper.

The Harper's government February 14 extended its air force support for French mission in Mali by thirty more days.

The Canadian French mission support in Mali consists of a Royal Canadian Air Force, CC-17 globe-master III, the strategic airlift aircraft and approximately 40 air force personnel.

"Canada is committed to standing with our international allies in a fight gainst extremists and to making a positive contribution to regional and international security," said Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence after extending its French Mission support in Mali.

"The work of our well-equipped Canadian men and women in uniform, in support of our Government's intent, is helping to stabilize the security situation in Mali and beyond," said the defense minister. 

Canada initially extended its support at the request of French government January 15 and later on extended its support twice. It is likely to be extended if French Mission in Mali is not completed by March 15, which will be a day after the meeting of the two prime ministers.

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