White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced during Monday’s press briefing that President Donald Trump will travel to Peru and Colombia in April.
“This will mark the President’s first trip to Latin America,” announced Sanders.
Trump will travel to Lima, Peru to attend the Summit of the Americas, where he will take part in “a series of bilateral, multilateral, and cultural engagements.”
“This travel highlights the President’s resolve to deepen our historical ties with our partners in the region and our joint commitment to improve security and prosperity for the people of the Americas,” Sanders continued. “The President is looking forward to meeting with partners and allies who share our values and believe, as we do, that the promise of a safe and prosperous future rests in strong democracies, fair and reciprocal trade, and secure borders.”
Earlier this month Trump spoke with Peru’s President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski to discuss the summit and “strong partnership” between their two countries. A readout of the call summarized the discussion, “President Trump underscored the need for countries in the region to work together to restore democracy in Venezuela, and the two leaders discussed the upcoming Summit of the Americas, which Peru will host next month. They agreed to continue to work together on issues of mutual interest.”
During a joint White House press conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in May of 2017, President Trump called Colombia one of the United States’ closest allies in the hemisphere. Trump affirmed U.S. commitment to help Colombia “target and eliminate drug trafficking networks, illicit financings, coca cultivation and cocaine production, of which there is far too much.” He blamed the drug epidemic for “poisoning too many American lives” and stated that the southern border wall would be one part of stopping this epidemic. Trump also spoke of the deteriorating state of Venezuela and that the U.S. would be working with Colombia and other countries on the problem.
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