Defense and security ministers from eight Central American states and their U.S. counterpart Donald Rumsfeld met on Tuesday to discuss issues related to anti-terrorism, organized crime and drug trafficking and seek joint efforts to tackle these scourges.
The meeting was held on the sidelines of the broader two-day Defense Ministers' Conference of the Americas, which concluded on Wednesday.
The eight Central American nations are Belize, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.
It is the third time for Rumsfeld to meet the region's defense ministers, and he has repeatedly said that the meetings have greatly helped improve relations.
"The message we all have is that not all the problems we are confronting can be solved with one simple solution," Rumsfeld said.
"We believe that our region's efforts should be directed to strengthen world peace, democracy and the respect for human rights. And that is the task we are undertaking," Guatemalan Defense Minister Francisco Bermudez said.