Above: US Vice President Joe Biden and Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina in Santo Domingo
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina received United States Vice President for an official visit on Thursday in Santo Domingo.
Medina said following the talks that relations between the two countries “are and will remain outstanding” and that he was confident of oven warmer relations because of Biden’s visit.
“Our aim has been to reflect the maturity of both democracies and that they manifest themselves as a partnership, with the common purpose of advancing the development of our people,” Medina said.
“The United States values this relationship,” Biden said. We value it very highly — make no mistake about it.”
In what the National Palace described as “frank, open and respectful” dialogue between the two sides, Medina and Biden addressed issues including security, fair trade and the Dominican Republic’s recently-implemented 911 emergency management system, which was supported by the United States.
Biden also discussed recent citizenship legislation enacted by the Dominican Republic to address last year’s controversial ruling involving the children of migrant parents.
He described the decision to enact the law as “serious,” lauding Medina for the legislation.
On the trade front, Medina expressed his administration’s “satisfaction” over US President Barack Obama’s response to Medina’s letter expressing concerns over the proposed Transpacific Trade Treaty.
He also referred to what he saw as the challenges posed for the Dominican Republic by the free trade treaty between Central America and the United States (DR-CAFTA) due to the “asymmetries between the economies of both countries.”
He said, however, that he hoped that collaboration with the US on trade would be carried out with “always fair and sustainable conditions for our producers.”
The United States is the Dominican Republic’s largest trading partner.
On energy, Medina said he reiterated his desire for the Dominican Republic to be included as one of the priority markets for the export of gas, once the United States ramps up its exports.
“Our priority is the diversification of the energy matrix, with emphasis on the use of the renewable energy strategy on which we are receiving technical support from the United States,” Medina said.