El Salvador Sets Sights On Millennium Challenge Account

July 22, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C. (EFE) –Salvadoran President Elias “Tony” Sacasaid last weekend that his White Housemeeting with his U.S. host, PresidentGeorge W. Bush – at which the two leadersdiscussed the anti-terrorism fight, freetrade and democratic consolidation – was“very productive.”Bush reportedly told Saca that ElSalvador is on the list of countries to beconsidered for the Millennium ChallengeAccount, a supplemental foreign-aid initiativeBush launched to reward developingcountries that practice good governance,fight corruption and invest in educationand health care. Honduras andNicaragua have already qualified for thedevelopment aid account (NT, June 17).At a press conference after the pair’sthird meeting since Saca came to power ayear ago, the Salvadoran leader said thatincluding his country on the MillenniumChallenge Account would mean “freshfunds” for infrastructure and anti-povertyprojects in his country.“One matter that took up a good bitof our attention was CAFTA,” as theCentral American Free Trade Agreementwith the United States, which alsoincludes the Dominican Republic, isknown, Saca said, adding that Bush “isworking intensively, like all of us, to getcongressional passage” of the accord.After last week’s meeting with Saca,Bush left for North Carolina to promotethe trade pact to U.S. textile manufacturers,who are divided over the accord.Saca did not touch on the issue ofIraq with Bush, but he announced that inAugust he will decide if El Salvador willcontinue to station 380 troops in theMiddle Eastern country.Salvador is the only country in thehemisphere, besides the United States,that still has troops in Iraq.

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