updated 1/10/2009 9:54:40 PM ET 2009-01-11T02:54:40

Barack Obama plans to take his first international trip as president to Canada.

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Transition aides said Saturday that Obama picked the United States' northern neighbor as his first venture outside the country as president. Aides say they could not discuss the date for the trip or its agenda.

A transition official says aides to the president-elect and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper discussed the trip in recent days. But the official says Obama and Harper themselves have not directly discussed the trip.

Obama meets Monday with Mexican President Felipe Calderon, his first in-person meeting with a world leader since winning election.

U.S. presidents typically use Canada as their first international trip.

"It's good news, a sign of the importance of this relationship to both countries. We look forward to hosting the new president," Kory Teneycke, Harper's press secretary, said from Ottawa. "The fact remains that our two countries are very important trading partners to one another, that we are friends and allies."

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