United States President Barack Obama and Colombia’s Álvaro Uribe spoke by telephone
for 10 minutes Tuesday, discussing relations between Washington and the
largest recipient of U.S. aid in the region, Uribe’s spokesman said.
The conversation was “constructive and cordial” and dealt with
common issues shared by the allies, said presidential spokesman Cesar
Mauricio Velasquez. He declined to provide details of the conversation.
Tuesday, Colombian Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez spoke with Secretary
of State Hillary Rodham Clinton about topics including the war on
drugs, the U.S. aid program called Plan Colombia and trade.
Clinton and Obama, as Democratic senators, opposed ratification of a
free trade agreement with Colombia, expressing concerns over continuing
slayings of labor leaders in the Andean nation, the world’s most
dangerous for union organizing.
“We had a chance to go over the
multiple issues we have in common as nations, obviously including the
war on drugs and the Plan Colombia, but also trade issues like energy
and the Summit of the Americas,” Bermúdez said.
Obama has said he would attend the April meeting of Western Hemisphere leaders in Trinidad and Tobago.
has received about $6 billion in mostly military aid from Washington
since 2000 and is girding for an expected reduction in assistance due
mainly to the global economic crisis. (AP)