MIN. WAGNER: (Through interpreter.) In the area of defense/security, we've had intense discussions reviewing the regional policy as well as Peruvian cooperation.
We've reviewed the certain specific themes, especially certain common threads such as narcotrafficking, and in that sense especially to try to combat certain crimes such as trafficking on the rivers and on the ocean. In some the series of actions which will reinforce the cooperation, but more importantly this comes from a shared vision between the United States and Peru about how to handle these aspects in a regional sense -- how to fight against these common threats.
This is an especially welcome visit. It's been very productive. And these discussions with the president no doubt have given a new dimension to this cooperation.
And now I'll leave it with you, Secretary Gates.
SEC. GATES: First, I'd like to thank President Garcia and Minister Wagner for hosting my visit to this beautiful country.
This has been a productive visit and has given us an opportunity to discuss our shared security.
I met with Minister Wagner at the Pentagon earlier this year, and I'm pleased to return the visit. I am honored by the hospitality that I have been shown.
The United States and Peru traditionally enjoy a friendly, cooperative defense relationship, and we hope to be able to work even more closely together in the future. Our bilateral ties are flourishing because they are driven by our shared values of democracy, the market economy, and a commitment to social justice and human rights.
Peru has strengthened its governmental institutions, pursued sensible economic reforms, and bolstered its security forces by making -- making Peruvians safer from the threats of criminal enterprises like drug and arms traffickers. The improved security climate has promoted foreign investment, more trade, and increased economic growth. The proposed U.S.-Peru free trade agreement will help consolidate this process.
Today's problems require close cooperation among nations. So this visit is an opportunity for me to listen and a reminder of our shared commitment to countering narcoterrorists and battling trafficking of all kinds, and fighting transnational crime.
I look forward to continuing our relationship, and enhancing mutual understanding and friendship between our nations. Gracias.
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