Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns returned yesterday from a very productive visit to Peru and Chile September 1-4, 2011. In Lima, he had an excellent meeting with President Humala on September 2, where they discussed social inclusion, education, health, citizen security, a comprehensive joint effort on counternarcotics, trade, and other issues. The Deputy Secretary’s visit built upon President Obama's and Secretary Clinton's commitments to President Humala in July to a strong partnership, as well as the August 31 visit of a U.S. Government interagency delegation that exchanged practical ideas with Peruvian counterparts on ways to achieve President Humala's goal of socially inclusive economic growth. While in Lima, the Deputy Secretary also met with the President of Congress, leading civil society voices, business representatives, journalists, and enthusiastic students who have participated in English language and U.S. exchange programs.
In Valparaiso, Chile, Deputy Secretary Burns led the U.S. delegation to the September 3-4 commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, hosted by the President of Chile and the Organization of American States. The Deputy Secretary highlighted progress in consolidating democracy in the hemisphere; called for a renewal of our shared commitment to building a future that delivers democracy, development and dignity to all the people of the Americas; and suggested the landmark Charter could serve as an inspiration for the emerging democracies of the Middle East. He also had positive conversations with other delegation heads, including the foreign ministers of Chile, Colombia, Honduras, Peru, and Uruguay.