El Salvador FM stresses close ties with U.S. ahead of Obama's visit

11:40, February 22, 2011      

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El Salvador's Foreign Minister Hugo Martinez reiterated Monday the country's close relations with the United States, ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Latin America in March.

El Salvador has maintained "historical ties" that feature mutual respect with the United States due to the links between their peoples and commercial exchanges, Martinez told a press conference.

About 2 million Salvadorian people, one third of the nation's population, live in U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, Maryland, Houston and New York.

Martinez said that Obama will visit El Salvador before any other Central American countries because of "the political stability, the peaceful change in the government, (and) the consolidation of democracy."

Martinez said that he will travel to Washington from March 9 to March 11 to "get ready the details" of the agenda.

In his Jan. 25 State of the Union address, Obama announced that he would visit Brazil, Chile and El Salvador in March to "forge new alliances for progress in the Americas."

Obama's trip to El Salvador will touch upon issues of poverty, security, migration, commerce, climate change and clean energy.

"There could be topics where we do not agree, but the practice has shown that the administrations of Salvadorian President Mauricio Funes and Obama have consensus on most of the topics," Martinez said.

El Salvador was the only Latin American country which deployed troops in Iraq during and after the U.S. invasion of that Arab country in March 2003.

Source: Xinhua

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