Obama speaks with Australian, Colombian leaders
President Barack Obama on Tuesday discussed the global economic crisis and improving U.S. relations with Latin America with his counterparts in Australia and Colombia, AP reported.
Obama telephoned Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, his first talks with either leader since his Jan. 20 inauguration, the White House said. He had spoken with both during the presidential campaign and following the Nov. 4 election.
Obama and Rudd discussed their responses to the economic crisis and how they were dealing with the fallout in their countries. They also talked about cooperating further on such issues as climate change and nuclear proliferation.
In the conversation with Uribe, Obama expressed his desire to work closely with him and other leaders in the region to improve U.S. relations. They also discussed U.S.-Colombian cooperation on counternarcotics, security and human rights.
As a senator, Obama opposed ratification of a free trade agreement with Colombia, saying he was concerned about the continued killings of labor leaders in the Andean nation.