Thursday, March 04, 2010

Clinton in Costa Rica for regional ministers' meet

Costa Rica's President Oscar Arias (L) walks next to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a meeting in San Jose March 4, 2010. (Photo: REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate)San Jose (AFP) – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived early Thursday in Costa Rica to meet the country's leaders as well as ministers from Latin America to discuss economic and democracy issues.

She will meet with president-elect Laura Chinchilla, set to become Costa Rica's first female head of state, in talks expected to focus on economic and development issues.

The top US diplomat will also meet President Oscar Arias, who hands over to Chinchilla on May 8.

Clinton flew in from Brazil where she faced strong resistance to the US-led push for sanctions against Iran over its disputed nuclear program.

In San Jose she sits down with female entrepreneurs and attends a Pathways to Prosperity roundtable, a Bush-era initiative involving 14 regional countries whose foreign ministers meet to promote economic development, democracy and women's rights.

The group includes six Central American countries as well as Canada, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru, the United States and Uruguay.

This is the fifth stop in Clinton's six-country Latin America tour, which she completes Friday in Guatemala, where she attends another meeting with regional leaders.

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