Remarks With Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes After Their Meeting
Secretary of State
SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon. It is a great honor to welcome President Funes to the Department of State today. I was honored to represent President Obama and the United States at his inauguration. And I have greatly appreciated the opportunity to discuss many matters of importance to El Salvador and the United States with the President.
The United States is committed to assisting El Salvador to deal with the challenges it faces in terms of security and economic growth. As part of that commitment, last week at the United Nations, Foreign Minister Martinez represented El Salvador as we launched the BRIDGE initiative, which stands for Building Remittance Investment for Development, Growth and Entrepreneurship.
And Mr. President, we are very pleased that our ambassador has finally arrived in El Salvador so that we can get to work on all of the issues that we have discussed today. And I look forward to deepening and broadening our partnership in the months ahead.
PRESIDENT FUNES: (Via interpreter) Thank you, friends of the media, Madam Secretary, officers of my government, we are pleased of being here in sharing the issues that are common to all of us, but also sharing the solutions to those issues. Since the beginning of my government 16 months ago, I said that the problems of my country are shared with Central America and we are going to be able to overcome them only with the support of the U.S. Government. That is why we have identified two strategies. One is to reduce the actions of organized crime and the other one is to reduce poverty.
So I am pleased that with the meeting, after listening to Madam Secretary, that we’re going to put together a task force together with all the Central American countries and start a work plan to attack these two issues.
And I’d also like to thank personally Madam Secretary and the support of Mr. Obama’s Administration for the – 18 months more of the TPS that is going to promote all the 200,000 Salvadorans that live and work in the United States. And I’ve also – I also want to thank the support with this special fund that is going to bring fresh sources for investors from money coming from the remittances that are sent to our country.
And of course, we are also pleased of the appointment of (inaudible) Mari Carmen Aponte that finally arrived to our country as an Ambassador of the United States.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, sir.
PRESIDENT FUNES: Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you.
Thank you all very much.