The U.S. President Barack Obama, had brief meetings today in Cartagena (Colombia) on the sidelines of the plenary of the Sixth Summit of the Americas with their counterparts in Argentina, Guatemala, El Salvador and Peru, according to White House .
Obama’s meeting with the president of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez, was the first between the two leaders since the U.S. decided to suspend trade preferences that country for non-payment of compensation to an arbitration tribunal set for two U.S. companies active in this South American nation.
Obama’s interest “is to work constructively with a diverse issues agenda with Argentina, but also reiterate our concern about certain trade issues,” said a senior U.S. official.
However, the meeting of Obama and Fernandez was “very focused on the positive agenda” and both spoke of cooperation in science and technology, something that had been addressed last November during a meeting in Cannes (France).
According to Argentina’s presidency, Obama expressed his willingness Fernandez “continue to be partners and friends” during the meeting, which occurs when the suspension of preferences has not entered into force, as it was fixed within 60 days when it took the decision.
Obama also had an informal conversation “friendly” with the president of Guatemala, Otto Perez Molina, who advocates the decriminalization of drugs as a solution to improve the fight against drug trafficking, something that U.S. objects.
The U.S. president “does not believe, as he has made clear, that decriminalization is the answer,” but “welcomes the debate,” said the senior official.
On the meeting between Obama and Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes, the senior official explained that the two talked about how to overcome constraints to economic growth and development of the Central American country, and to strengthen support for public safety.
With his Peruvian counterpart, Ollanta Humala, Obama discussed how the two countries can work together for social and economic inclusion, according to the White House.
According to Humala, Obama also recognized “that there is a responsibility and must work closely with countries that produce drugs” and discussed regional energy integration, “important” for a possible energy deficit.
“Economic growth in the region demand more power and obligation of States to respond,” he said.
Category: Business News