PRESIDENT BUKELE: Muchos gracias. Thank you very much. I will say my remarks in English so I - so we make our guests feel more comfortable. You have translation? Oh yeah, that's right. Perfect.
So we had a - quite a good conversation with Secretary of State
We had - I think we have now a new chapter in the relationship with
And we wanted to say that very clearly, for us, this is our most important relationship, and we want to work and we want to strengthen that relationship in all of the areas. We're - not only by creating a better economy, better exports, better imports, but fighting crime together. We talk about fighting the gangs together, we talk about interdicting narcotics together, we talk about reducing immigration together. So I think this was a very, very important meeting. I think that it's a game changer, and from now on we will have a - we'll work like this, because remember, Secretary Pompeo is the top
So I am very sure that the relationship will be better, will be strengthened, and we'll work together to fix our problems and to fix the common problems that
So I really think that
SECRETARY POMPEO: President Bukele, thank you so much. I want to thank you for taking the time -- Foreign Minister Hill, great to see you. I'm delighted to be here. Thank you for giving so much time to me, especially that I know you're expecting your first child any day now. (Laughter.) Buena suerte.
PRESIDENT BUKELE: Gracias.
SECRETARY POMPEO: Look forward to many sleepless nights, yes.
Look, President Bukele made very clear his commitment to be a great partner of
In the last fiscal year alone, operations launched from this location disrupted more than
So too will the work more broadly against the - to combat the deadly gangs like MS-13, which has left a trail of death and destruction throughout
The plague of gangs and drug traffickers in the region is a major contributing factor too to another of our shared security concerns, that of illegal immigration. Ending illegal immigration requires lots of hard work strengthening border security at the
You're leading the way here in
Eliminating corruption and combating impunity will pave a path for economic success too. When you have responsible democratic governments guided by the rule of law, people want to invest. They like free economies with the rule of law, where they can have confidence that if they do well and they do the right thing, that they can be successful and hire more people.
This risk to the region also exists in
This is all great news, great cooperation, and I am convinced this is just the beginning.
PRESIDENT BUKELE: Thank you. Thank you very much.
MODERATOR: (In Spanish.)
QUESTION: (In Spanish.)
PRESIDENT BUKELE: Well, I think - I think it's very important that when we focus on a cause, we fight for what we can achieve to better that cause. So what we really - what do we really want to do in
Second, we have to acknowledge every penny the United States Government has is their money, not ours. We have our own money. We may be a poor country, but we have our own money, and they have their own money. Whatever aid or program the United States Government wants to do in
So I don't think it would be quite - I don't know, it sounds tacky to have the top
So we want to reduce migration. We want to - and like the Secretary said, we want to reduce migration also with the - and better the conditions here so that people don't have to migrate, so that people have a decent job, security, and they want - they will prefer to stay at their home with their families in their land, and not crossing three borders, desert, rivers, and look - go into a dangerous path to try to cross into a country with - that is not their country, is not their own country. For us, we want people to stay here. That should be our goal. And they like that goal, and they want to help us in that goal.
So I really think that, like I said - like I said before when some media company asked me, I said immigration - the problem starts with us because we are sending the migrants. People flee
But our works as a government is to get our people to have those things here, to have security. That is why we're working so hard on security. That's why we're working so hard on getting jobs for our people. And we'll be receiving the help. He just mentioned a project that the United States Government is financing
I said something - I don't know if - may I say something I told you inside? (Laughter.) I said --
SECRETARY POMPEO: You're the president. (Laughter.)
PRESIDENT BUKELE: I said to the Secretary - he told me - he told me, "What would you ask from us?" And I said, "I would rather ask for you to put on" - like he just said right here - "is a time to invest in
So that might create billions of dollars of investment, and I rather prefer that than the
So the problem is that rather to be looking for handouts, we should be looking for partnership. And I think that we had a long conversation and a very, very nice conversation, and I am sure that it's going to translate into results, and we're committed to translate that into results. So I think that will improve more the life of our people than getting some check with free money.
And also, it's tacky to ask for money when it's their money. But I'm sure that all the things we're going to do together in fighting crime, in fighting corruption, in strengthening our institutions, in countering narcotics, in reducing immigration with - by embettering the conditions of the people here, that's huge, and that's going to - of course, that's going to cost - that's - you have to use resources to do that.
But let's focus first on what we want to achieve, and then that will probably have a price tag, but I felt that the most important thing were - was to bind together our goals and what we want to achieve, and if we have a partner as big and as powerful and as important to us and to the world as
QUESTION: Thank you. I was going to ask a tacky free money question, but I think I'll ask something else. (Laughter.)
First of all for President Bukele, it is clear that this issue of both countries want to stem the flow of migration and it's a regional issue with your other neighboring countries. Did you discuss the issue of safe third-country status and the whole - as a regional issue?
PRESIDENT BUKELE: No, no, we didn't discuss that exact issue. But we focused on - that's why I'm really happy about this meeting for several reasons. First because the meeting took place, right? That's very important. But not only that, also we - everything that we spoke in the whole meeting, the whole time we were on the same page, the whole time. And that says tons of what we can achieve, because in every topic we were on the same page. I think probably and also - subconsciously we didn't raise issues that will probably erode the conversation, because we are trying to seek a partnership and a friendship here, and we're trying to strengthen our ties with our ally.
So we focused more on what we can achieve together, and rather in things that might - we might not be 100 percent - 100 percent on the same page. So the whole meeting was things that were 100 percent on the same page, so I think, like I said before, if you focus on the results and what we can achieve, we want to reduce migration - both of us. We want to reduce migration. We want is people not to die in the deserts or being kidnapped for their - selling their organs or little girls being kidnapped to sell - being sold as sex slaves. I mean, we want to end this. And
So there is so much things we think 100 percent alike that I think probably subconsciously we tried to keep the meeting in trying to focus on those things. And at the end of the time - I mean, I'm not here to posture. I mean, I'm not here to - like some people have asked me, "Why do you posture in that, and this and that?" I say, "Look, I don't - if you want to posture, fine," I said to those people - to those people. I really don't want to posture. I really want to do the best for my people, and Secretary Pompeo wants to do the best for his people. And if we can put those interests - align and put those interests together, we can achieve a couple of things, several of things, and in this case many things. That's a huge - it's a huge success. And why don't we just keep the success and be happy that we would achieve a lot of things for our people and will embetter all of the conditions that create all those problems in the first place.
QUESTION: Thank you. And Mr. Secretary, as you know, the 45-day deadline for a decision on tariffs for
SECRETARY POMPEO: So I'm going to take the question you didn't ask first. I just want to add to what President Bukele said. This is a country that can be a model on immigration, that we can really get it right, and we can get it right in multiple dimensions. We'll do enforcement. We'll do criminal gang activity. We'll invite private American investment to come down here and be part of the fiber of
Look, I spoke to Foreign Minister Ebrard just before I came here. We talked about the progress we've made on migration with them too. It's been good. We're now day 44, day 45. They've made real progress. Importantly, they've made a real commitment towards that progress. So the numbers are good. You can see the data. It's public data. There are fewer apprehensions taking place today along our southern border, but we've got a long way to go yet. There is still much more work to do.
I wanted to talk today about the tools that we have available and how we can achieve getting to a place where each of our two countries understands the requirements and we can get to the right place. As for the next set of actions, I'll talk with the President and the teams back in
And I appreciate the question on waivers with respect to
QUESTION: Thank you.
MODERATOR: (In Spanish.)