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Remarks Following a Meeting With President Ollanta Moises Humala Tasso of Peru

June 11, 2013

President Obama. I'm very happy to welcome President Humala and his delegation to the Oval Office. We've been able to work together and interact in a wide range of multilateral forums, but this is the first time that I've been able to have the President here in Washington.

Peru is one of our strongest and most reliable partners in the hemisphere. We have a strong commercial and trading relationship. We cooperate on a wide range of security issues, including our counternarcotics efforts. And we spent most of our discussion focused on how we can further deepen this important bilateral relationship.

I want to congratulate President Humala on being able to sustain strong growth rates in Peru and his focus on broad-based economic growth that includes all people. As a consequence, Peru has been able to see not only increased growth, but also reduced poverty and steps to reduce inequality.

For both the United States and Peru, growth is also dependent on our continued expansion in the global marketplace, and that's why I'm very glad that Peru and the United States are working so closely together in finalizing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which offers the possibility of opening up markets throughout the Asia-Pacific region with high standards and protections for labor and the environment.

We've also agreed to a number of bilateral programs that will strengthen our cooperation. For example, as part of my 100,000 Strong in the Americas program, we're going to deepen education exchange programs between our two countries, and we're also focusing on how we work together to include small businesses and medium-sized businesses in a hemisphere-wide network that allows those businesses to access markets throughout the region.

And we also talked about how we can deepen, at a strategic level, our work together to continue to combat the scourge of transnational drug networks that have an adverse impact not only in Peru, but throughout the region.

So overall, the state of our relationship is very strong. I think it will become even stronger as a result of some of the initiatives that we've shaped in this meeting. And I'm very glad that President Humala was able to visit us. I also wish the Peruvian soccer team the best of luck this evening. [Laughter]

President Humala. Thank you very much, President Obama. My visit here is a sign of the strength that we want to carry out in our relationships between the United States and Peru.

We have found in your administration an open environment in which we can build on all the strategic areas so as to strengthen our bonds. I am convinced that under your administration, we will substantively and qualitatively fight against the scourge of drugs.

But that has not been the only topic that we have addressed during our talk. We have also discussed about education, training, science, technology, and strengthening the capacities of our young population. We wish to move forward on exchange programs and scholarships not only with the States—the United States, but also with the states of the union, so that way we can provide young people more opportunities.

We have agreed on the importance of building democracy, on respecting human rights, on improving economic openness, on working on trade, because this allows us to grow our economies and to develop further. In addition, we have highlighted that Peru is an important trade partner with the United States. We provide economic growth. We have economic trust. We also provide a legal stability.

Finally, we have invited President Obama, despite his busy agenda, to visit Peru. I hope he does find the time to come down and visit us.

We would like to thank you for your well wishes for the match this afternoon. The referee is from the U.S. [Laughter] No, I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding. [Laughter] This is not true. I'm just kidding.

President Obama. Well, if it was, hopefully, the Peruvian team will be so strong that it doesn't need help from the referee. [Laughter]

Gracias. Thank you. Thank you, everybody.

NOTE: The President spoke at 12:16 p.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. President Humala spoke in Spanish, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.

Barack Obama, Remarks Following a Meeting With President Ollanta Moises Humala Tasso of Peru Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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