Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Condoleezza Rice To Visit Medellin; Talk Free-Trade With Colombia

Condoleezza Rice On Latin American Tour

New Mayor of Medellin, Alonso Salazar, announced today that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is scheduled to visit Medellin next week. Condoleezza Rice is scheduled to arrive in Medellin on January 24.

The US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, has called on Congress to ratify free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and Peru.

She stated in her support for Free Trade Agreement,

“I would note [to you] that perhaps the greatest value of passing these trade agreements will be the positive impact that they will have on the prosperity and the stability of our Pan-American community, a community whose well-being is vital to U.S. interests.

Peru, Colombia and Panama now stand on the threshold of far-reaching national success. Trade agreements with the United States would help significantly to advance our partners' political, economic and social development: making their democratic institutions more transparent and accountable, more effective at fighting poverty and corruption, enforcing the law, and investing in education, health and opportunity for their people.

By enacting these trade agreements into law, our Congress would send a signal to every citizen of these countries, to people across the hemisphere, and to investors across the globe that Peru, Colombia and Panama are dedicated to democracy and economic growth; that they are institutionalizing their reforms; and that the United States is completely committed to their success.

By not passing the free trade agreements into law, it would deliver a ‘great blow’ to those countries, and to US interests in the region.”

The White House has already agreed to the deals, which must be approved by Congress before becoming law.

Condoleeza Rice plans to visit the neighborhood of Santo Domingo, once one of Medellin’s worst neighborhoods.

Alfonso Salazar will demonstrate the transformation of Medellin, in an effort to prove to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that Colombia is a country worth investing in its future.

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