Politics Trump praises Panama... and its canal

21:25  19 june  2017
21:25  19 june  2017 Source:   USA TODAY

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President Trump and Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela. (Photo: Evan Vucci, AP). CONNECTTWEET LINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE. WASHINGTON — President Trump saluted Panama counterpart Juan Carlos Varela during a White House meeting Monday that touched

Panama and Donald Trump . by Marco A. Gandásegui, hijo. Five years ago Trump did opine about the Panama Canal and the way that the 1977 negotiations that allowed its turnover to the Panamanian government turned out.

  Trump praises Panama... and its canal © Provided by USA Today

WASHINGTON — President Trump saluted Panama counterpart Juan Carlos Varela during a White House meeting Monday that touched on illegal immigration, international criminal gangs, drug trafficking — and the Panama Canal.

"The Panama Canal is doing quite well," the U.S. president said during a photo opportunity. "I think we did a good job building it."

Responded Varela: "Very good job."

Beyond infrastructure, Trump praised the U.S. relationship with Panama, saying "things are going well," and "the relationship has been very strong. We are developing new things to do and only getting stronger."

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“The Panama Canal is doing quite well. I think we did a good job building it, right?” Trump told Varela, who responded, “very good job.” The canal recently expanded its locks as part of a .25 billion expansion project.

Varela thanked Trump and said "the idea for this visit is to work closely together as we face the same challenges we have in the region of Central America and Latin America."

In announcing the meeting earlier this month, the White House said that Trump and Varela would discuss "our shared priorities in the fight against transnational organized crime, illegal migration, and illicit substances."

It added that "the leaders will also discuss our economic partnership and how to counter democratic backsliding in Venezuela."

Trump did not respond to questions about whether or not he is under investigation for possible obstruction of justice in connection with the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the Russia investigation. He also ignored questions about whether he has tapes of conversations with Comey.

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