Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday said it was not his place to come to the United States and “lecture another country” on its policies. At a joint press conference with US President Donald Trump in Washington, Trudeau avoided openly criticising Trump’s travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority nations, but said his country would continue to pursue an open policy for refugees, AFP reported.

“Canada has always understood that keeping Canadians safe is one of the fundamental responsibilities of any government,” Trudeau said. “At the same time, we continue to pursue our policies of openness...without compromising security.” Trump, who defended the ban and called it “common sense”, did not criticise Canada’s policy when asked if it posed a threat to the US. However, he said his ban was “taking people that are criminals – very, very hardened criminals in some cases...and we are getting them out.”

The two leaders discussed trade during their meeting, with Trump saying the US had a “very outstanding relationship with Canada”, The Guardian reported. “We’ll be tweaking and doing things that benefit both of our countries,” he said, adding that the relationship between the two countries was a “much less than that on our southern border”, a reference to Mexico, which has been heavily panned by Trump as not doing enough to curb illegal immigration.

While Trump has sought a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement between the three countries, he has not yet revealed the specifics of his plan for the economic accord.