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Obama remarks to Central American-DomRep leaders

THE WHITE HOUSEOffice of the Press Secretary

(Port of Spain, Trinidad)

___________________________________________________________

For Immediate Release

April 19, 2009

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT

BEFORE MEETING WITH THE

CENTRAL AMERICAN INTEGRATION SYSTEM

Hyatt Hotel

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

8:18 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Well, good morning, everybody. I'm very pleased to have this opportunity to meet with the leaders of Central America. Obviously, we have a long history of relations between the United States and Central America -- that is a critical partner on a whole range of issues. We have the leadership here democratically elected, and provided a lot of important information during the course of this summit.

But obviously when you're in a group of 36 it's more difficult to focus just on the regional issues. So this gives me an opportunity to hear more directly about both challenges and opportunities in the region.

So I'm very grateful that they've taken the time to meet with me and I'm looking forward to hearing more about how the United States can be an effective partner with all the countries represented.

Thank you.

END 8:19 A.M. EDT

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