On September 6, Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan in Asunción, Paraguay, with President Mario Abdo Benítez.  He was joined by Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump.  They discussed our shared interest in efforts to create economic opportunity, combat corruption, and build a strong, self-reliant Paraguay in support of regional national security.

President Benítez welcomed the United States’ announcement that the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has surpassed its initial $500 million 2X Americas commitment for the region, unveiling a new target to deploy an additional $500 million with private sector partners.

Deputy Sullivan thanked President Benítez for Paraguay’s strong support of a restoration of democracy and human rights for the people of Venezuela.  He noted Paraguay’s support for Venezuelan interim President Juan Guaidó and ongoing leadership within the Lima Group, Mercosur, and UN Human Rights Council toward a peaceful transition to democracy in Venezuela.

Deputy Sullivan underscored U.S. support for Paraguay’s strong commitment to regional security.  Paraguay’s efforts to combat transnational crime include increased drug seizures and reduction of contraband in the notorious Tri-Border Area with Brazil and Argentina.  He also thanked President Benítez for agreeing to host the first Regional Security Mechanism meeting in late 2019, as announced at the July Counter-Terrorism Ministerial in Buenos Aires.

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