Salvadoran president meets senior U.S. officials on bilateral ties

17:08, November 17, 2010      

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Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes met a senior U.S. trade official and a diplomat to promote bilateral relations Tuesday, news reports reaching said.

Funes, during a visit to the U.S. city of Atlanta, met U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Lock and Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo Valenzuela, a statement posted on the president's website said.

During his meeting with Lock, Funes said his country sought more exports to the United States, which is already El Salvador's biggest trade partner, to reduce poverty and create conditions that would pull down migration from El Salvador.

"Investing in the poor and social programs is the same as investment in production," Funes said.

He also discussed security, poverty and migration with Valenzuela.

Funes emphasized the need to fight organized crimes on a wide regional basis, with the participation of all the Central American nations.

He said fighting poverty would by itself reduce crimes and migration.

He voiced his support to U.S. President Barack Obama in achieving a complete immigration reform that would regularize the situation of thousands of Salvadorans working in the United States.

The Salvadorans live in the United States under temporary terms granted to Salvadorans in 1998, following a devastating strike by Hurricane Mitch to El Salvador. The temporary reprieve has been renewed every 18 months since then, but has never been transformed into a permanent arrangement.

Source: Xinhua


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