Uribe has ‘constructive’ talk with Hillary Clinton

Colombian President Álvaro Uribe spoke on the telephone with Hillary Clinton,
president-elect Barack Obama’s incoming secretary of state, Uribe’s spokesman said Wednesday.

Uribe, who wants the US Congress to approve a free trade agreement
the two countries signed in 2006, spoke with Clinton for 10 minutes
around 1530 GMT, said presidential spokesman Cesar Mauricio Velasquez.

“It was a constructive conversation,” Velasquez said, giving no further details.

The
president’s office later issued a release stating that “these political
contacts” between the two governments “are within the framework of the
policy of maintaining a traditionally bipartisan focus on relations
between the two nations.”

Obama takes over as US president on January 20.

On
November 19 Uribe spoke by telephone with Obama. The conversation
focused on the free trade agreement, held up in the US Congress by
Democrats who want Bogota to resolve issues such as the murder of labor
leaders and the links between right-wing paramilitary groups and
conservatives allies of the Uribe administration.

In July, during
the US presidential campaign, it was Democrat Obama’s rival, Republican
John McCain, who stopped in Colombia and met with Uribe. McCain at the
time criticized Obama for not paying enough attention to Latin America.

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