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Secretary Rice: Travel to Panama, December 9-10, 2008

Secretary Rice and Panamanian President Torrijos attend opening ceremony of the Pathways to Prosperity meeting. Panama City, Panama, December 10, 2008. ©  AP Photo
Secretary's Travel to Panama
Secretary Rice (Dec. 10):
"The Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas Initiative aims to build on the remarkable democratic consolidation of our hemisphere over the last two decades. ... [T]he path to greater opportunity and social justice is different for every country. But its features are similar: democracy in the rule of law, responsible governance and open economies, and investment in the health and education of our people." Full Text | Pathways to Prosperity site
At the invitation of Panamanian President Martin Torrijos Espino, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice traveled to Panama City, Panama on December 9-10, 2008. Secretary Rice met with President Torrijos to discuss bilateral issues, including trade and education. She led an interagency team that included Deputy U.S. Trade Representative John Veroneau, Deputy Under Secretary of Labor for International Affairs Charlotte Ponticelli, and Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Michelle O’Neill, Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Brian O’Neill, as well as Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Thomas Shannon, Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs Daniel Sullivan, and Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans, Environment and Science Claudia A. McMurray, to participate in the first Pathways to Prosperity Ministerial meeting.

President Bush and leaders of eleven Western Hemisphere countries launched the Pathways initiative on September 24, 2008 to ensure that the benefits of trade more broadly reach all of our citizens. The Ministerial provided Pathways countries the opportunity to develop and implement policies and programs to achieve key Pathways goals, including (1) ensure that the benefits of trade are broadly shared in our societies; (2) promote and deepen regional trade; (3) expand regional cooperation on economic development and competitiveness; (4) enhance cooperation on labor and environmental standards and enforcement; and (5) engage the private sector and civil society to advance these objectives. Ministerial discussions focused on the establishment of a plan of action to develop policies and programs to achieve these goals

Remarks made during the trip
--12/10/08 Remarks by Secretary Rice With Panamanian President Martin Torrijos
--12/10/08 Remarks by Secretary Rice at Signing Ceremony With Panamanian First Vice President and Foreign Minister Samuel Lewis
--12/10/08 Remarks by Secretary Rice at Pathways to Prosperity Plenary Session I
--12/08/08 Assistant Secretary Shannon Briefs on Scenesetter: Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas Ministerial in Panama, December 10, 2008;


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