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Biden pledges support in war on drugs

  |   March 7, 2012 at 10:07 AM
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TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras, March 7 (UPI) -- U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was back in the United States Wednesday after visiting Mexico and Honduras to discuss matters of mutual, regional interest.

While in Honduras Tuesday, Biden pledged U.S. help to Honduras and other Central American nations in their battle against drug traffickers and corruption.

"We understand the grave threats of narco-trafficking and the gang violence, and the threat it poses to the people of Honduras [and] … to the entire region, as well as to my country," Biden said during a joint media availability with Honduran President Porfirio Lobo Sosa. "And the United States is absolutely committed to continuing to work with Honduras to win this battle against the narco-traffickers."

Biden, who traveled from Mexico to Honduras, also met with presidents of the Central American countries to discuss the upcoming Summit of the Americas as well as other regional issues during his visit to the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa.

Lobo said the meeting between presidents of the Central American Integration System and Biden was "concentrated in citizen security and how to continue our endeavors … between the people and country of the United States of America and the peoples and governments of Central America on the struggle against organized crime and drug traffic."

"We are doing our best efforts and also using the best collaboration efforts from the people and government of the United States," Lobo said through an interpreter.

Biden said Washington was working with Central American countries on security matters, training and vetting law enforcement personnel, prosecutors and judges, as well as expanding cultural and educational exchange opportunities.

"No one country can defeat transnational crime alone," Biden said.

Because the ties between the United States and Central America were deep, Biden said, "That's why we also focused on the importance of economic opportunity, social inclusion, respect for human rights and the rule of law."

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