What will Trump and Varela talk about?

Varela and Trump had already talked days after the Republican candidate won the presidential election
  • Varela and Trump had already talked days after the Republican candidate won the presidential election
  • FILE

PANAMA CITY.- It is expected that in the coming months, a meeting between the Panamanian president and his controversial US counterpart may take place. Although the history between both countries is long, these days, both leaders will have a new meeting agenda available in Washington

Varela said he received a phone call from Donald Trump in which they spoke of the "excellent bilateral relationship" they have on security, regional and economic issues.

Varela and Trump had already talked days after the Republican candidate won the presidential election.

During that conversation they discussed matters on regional security, commercial and hemispheric political situations, according to a communiqué of the Presidency of Panama.

"The leaders talked about the importance of binational cooperation in the fight against organized crime, drug trafficking and insecurity," said the statement of the presidency of Panama at that time.

To prepare the meeting, the leaders agreed to bilateral meetings of senior officials, said the Panamanian president in a series of messages on Twitter.

He said his team will hold several meetings with the US administration. First, he will send the Deputy Minister and Minister of Security to meet with the United States Department of Homeland Security. Chancellor Saint-Malo will then meet with her US counterpart. And "in a couple of months," Varela himself will travel to meet the president of the United States.

Shortly thereafter, President Juan Carlos Varela said that removing the Waked Group companies from the Clinton List is not among the issues to be discussed with US President Donald Trump.

"We have to let the institutions handle that," Varela said. He also said that the priority will be the discussion of trade and security issues.

Our agenda is about the present and the future, the issues of the past must be handled by justice," said Juan Carlos Varela - President of the Republic

For Varela, the inclusion of the Waked Group companies on the Clinton List is private matters that must be resolved between the Attorney General, the Supreme Court of Panama and the US Department of Justice.

Trump has been a strong critic of Free Trade Agreements, like the one that Panama maintains with the United States. However, it is unknown at the moment if there will be any change in relations with Panama.

The United States is one of the main countries of origin of foreign direct investment in Panama, and together with China and Chile, it is the largest customer of the inter-oceanic channel, which accounts for 6% of world trade.

In the conversation, both leaders would also have spoken of encouraging respect for democracy in Venezuela. However, from this section few details were known, what is certain is that recently, the president of the USA has spoken about Venezuela with the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, Argentina, Mauricio Macri, and Peru, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.

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