BRUSSELS, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- The development of ties in the energy sector is on the table for bilateral talks with Canadian officials, leaders from the European Union said.
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso head Friday to Ottawa for an annual summit hosted by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and trade representatives.
European leaders said the visit is a chance to reflect on the success of negotiations on strategic partnership and comprehensive economic and trade agreements.
With Harper joining the chorus of voices frustrated with regional developments in Iraq, Syria and Ukraine, Van Rompuy said Wednesday the talks were an opportunity to build a stronger policy foundation.
Bilateral agreements reinforce cooperation "most obviously" in international peace and security, he said, "but also in areas like education, transport, energy, environment, the Arctic or science and technology, where Europeans and Canadians stand to benefit greatly from closer cooperation."
The Canadian government is working to diversify an energy sector dependent almost exclusively on the United States for oil exports. Harper's administration has deals in hand for gas deliveries to Asian markets and delegates last year tried to generate European interest in its oil sector.
Canada's Natural Resources Ministry last year said European emissions standards on the heavier grade of crude oil found in Canada were "unscientific and discriminatory."