Biden: Strong pan-American ties vital

March 6, 2012 at 9:46 AM
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TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras, March 6 (UPI) -- The United States recognizes the threat drug gangs pose to Central America and is working with partners in the region to face it, Vice President Joe Biden said.

Biden travels to Honduras Tuesday to meet with President Profirio Lobo and other Central American leaders to discuss issues of mutual interest, including trade, security and the drug war. Biden was in Mexico Monday.

He noted that in March 2011, President Obama initiated the Alliance for Citizen Security in Central America while visiting El Salvador.

Beyond providing training and equipment to police forces in Central America, the United States has worked to reduce demand for illegal drugs within its borders, Biden said.

Concerning immigration, Biden told La Prensa the Obama administration has called on Congress to work with him on a comprehensive reform package.

He said the Justice Department has filed lawsuits against several restrictive state immigration laws and sought injunctions against all or parts of those laws.

The Obama administration is committed to working with Latin American countries, Biden told La Prensa, outlining the number of trips the president has made to the Americas and his work with pan-American institutions.

Concerning reports Iran has extended its reach into the Western Hemisphere, Biden said Washington was monitoring Iranian activities.

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