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Deputy Secretary Negroponte: Travel to Latin America

Deputy Secretary Negroponte shakes hands with Colombia's Foreign Minister Fernando Araujo in Bogota, Tuesday, May 8, 2007. [ AP Images]
Travel to  Ecuador, Peru, Colombia and Panama
(May 9):
"First of all, I’ve just become Deputy Secretary of State about two months ago. So, I wanted to send a signal, and Secretary Rice wanted me to send a signal, on the importance of our relationships with this hemisphere. Secondly, as you mentioned, we have free trade agreements pending with Panama, with Colombia and Peru. So, ... the issue of free trade agreements will be coming up in Congressional debates and now would be a good time to visit."

Deputy Secretary Negroponte traveled to Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Panama on May 7-12, 2007, to discuss pending trade agreements, energy issues, and regional cooperation. Following on President Bush's March 2007 visit to the region, Deputy Secretary Negroponte, also highlighted the President's commitment to advance the cause of social justice in the Western Hemisphere by building governments that are fair, effective, and that meet the basic needs of their citizens. Deputy Secretary Negroponte discussed issues such as education, healthcare, housing, and how the United States can assist in creating greater economic opportunities in the hemisphere.

The Deputy Secretary met with local business executives, civil society, and human rights groups, in addition to senior officials in the host governments. He visited micro enterprises and saw schools supported by United States Government programs. Accompanying the Deputy Secretary was Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs Thomas A. Shannon.

Remarks by Deputy Secretary Negroponte
--05/09/07  Press Availability With Ecuadorian Media Outlets
--05/09/07  Interview With Caracol TV
--05/08/07  Interview With Adriana Vargas of RCN TV
--05/08/07  Interview With Carlos Fernando Galan of El Tiempo
--05/02/07  Remarks at 37th Annual Washington Conference on the Americas


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