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Colombia, U.S. make positive contact during Americas summit: FM
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13:01, April 21, 2009

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Colombian Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez said on Monday his country and the United States made positive contact and exchanges during the just-concluded fifth Summit of the Americas.

Bermudez noted that Colombian President Alvaro Uribe talked with his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama for three times during the three-day summit that closed on Sunday.

"What is important is that they met...and President Uribe was able to talk with president Obama, and also it was not the only meeting, they met several times," Bermudez said, quoted by local radio stations.

"This was the first meeting. What matters is what is to come, what we can advance, the future meetings, the full agenda," Bermudez added.

As for the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Colombia and the U.S., Bermudez said "it is important for both countries, not only in the economic but also in the strategic and political aspects."

"We are developing a work agenda. The idea is that Commerce Minister Luis Guillermo Plata will travel to Washington soon," Bermudez said.

The U.S. and Colombia signed a free trade agreement in 2006. The deal was ratified by the Colombian Congress, but yet to be passed by the U.S. Congress.

The Fifth Summit of the Americas opened Friday in the Caribbean twin island state of Trinidad and Tobago, with economy, energy, the environment, security and Cuba high on the agenda.

Prime Minister Patrick Manning of Trinidad and Tobago said he was "extremely pleased" at the outcome of the summit, and that "a new spirit of cooperation was very evident in the conduct of business" at the gathering of leaders from 34 countries of the Western Hemisphere.


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