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Public Papers - 1990

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on President Bush's Meeting in New York City With President Cesar Gaviria of Colombia


President Bush met with President Gaviria of Colombia at approximately 4:15 this afternoon and discussed a number of bilateral issues of interest to both countries. President Bush advised President Gaviria that he will include Colombia in legislation that he will soon send to the Congress on a CBI [Caribbean Basin Initiative]-like trade preference system for four Andean countries. One product of special interest to Colombia, cut flowers, will be included in this legislation. The two countries have discussed tariffs on cut flowers for a number of months, and President Bush has promised to seek relief.

President Gaviria expressed his concern about a new wave of terrorism in Colombia and the need for both countries to deal forthrightly with the drug situation. The two Presidents discussed possible trade benefits that could accrue to Colombia to make up for adverse economic impacts due to the drug war.

President Bush raised the issue of ``consensual'' boarding of ships suspected of carrying drugs. President Gaviria indicated he would look into the process of getting approval for U.S. coastguardsmen to inspect ships at sea. President Bush reiterated that the United States wants to cooperate with Colombia in drug interdiction and would not act without Colombian approval.

The two Presidents discussed the situation in the Persian Gulf, including its impact on oil prices in the United States and Colombia. President Bush thanked President Gaviria for his decision to increase oil production in Colombia. President Bush repeated his concerns about market speculators driving up the price of oil. President Bush thanked President Gaviria for his support in the United Nations on the resolutions related to Iraq.

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