Peru president, son of Jewish refugee, tells Trump he prefers ‘bridges to walls’

In first meeting with new US president by a Latin American leader, Kuczynski calls for freedom of movement

The president of Peru, whose father was a Jewish refugee who fled the Nazis, told US President Donald Trump during a visit at the White House that he prefers “bridges to walls.”

Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, born in Lima to a French Protestant mother and German Jewish father who fled the Nazis in 1933, gave Trump a gentle rebuke over his controversial proposal to build a wall along the border with Mexico, reported the Washington Post.

Kuczynski on Friday became the first Latin American president to visit Trump in Washington.

The US-educated former Wall Street banker, who renounced his American citizenship to run for Peru’s presidency last June, took a strong stand against Trump’s “America First” agenda while many in the region remain silent.

Kuczynski, 78, told Trump he was interested in the free movement of people — “legally,” he emphasized — and also spoke about trade and economic development, reported the Post.

Earlier this month, Kuczynski thanked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for barring entrance to Peru's fugitive ex-president, Alejandro Toledo, whose wife holds Israeli citizenship, until he settled his affairs over corruption charges.

Kuczynski harshly criticized Trump during the US presidential campaign, joking he would cut diplomatic relations with the US “with a saw” if Trump followed through on his pledge to build a wall with Mexico, which he compared to the Berlin Wall. On Friday, he made a point of saying “we prefer bridges to walls.”

Peru’s former president, Alan Garcia, once slammed Kuczynski for not having “a single gram of Peruvian blood. He has Polish, Jewish, French, but Peruvian zero.” A former Peruvian ambassador to Washington declared: “Can I have confidence in this guy? He’s old, his parents were European, his wife’s American, his kids live in the States.”

 

Peru President: Meeting with Trump a "huge success"

 Following a 5-day visit to the United States, Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski referred to his meeting with U.S. counterpart Donald Trump as a "huge success," saying he represented the Inca nation with honor.

As an overview of his recent trip, the Head of State noted the wide-ranging dialogue addressed Peruvian migrants in the U.S., the countries' FTA, as well as the need to support democracy in Latin America. 

"The meeting was a huge success that lasted nearly an hour," he said in a video distributed by Lima's Government Palace.

As is known, President Trump invited the Peruvian leader for a visit to his country earlier this month in order to deepen bilateral relations.

Mr. Kuczynski affirmed that while the private one-to-one dialogue lasted 15 minutes, it was followed by a more extended meeting featuring Mr. Trump's main advisors, as well as Peruvian Foreign Affairs Minister Ricardo Luna. 

The 78-year-old also refuted claims that the audience lasted merely "3 minutes," and warned the population against believing such lies. 

"I came here at the invitation [of President Trump], and I represented you [Peruvians] with honor," he pointed out. 

Lastly, the statesman also highlighted his meeting with United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, to whom he reiterated Peru's support to multilateralism, the fight against climate change, as well as U.N. peacekeeping missions in Haiti and Africa.

President Kuczynski: Peru seen as the country fighting corruption the most

Peru is seen internationally as one of the countries making the most efforts to tackle the scourge of corruption, President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski affirmed upon arrival from the United States on Monday.

As images of former President Alejandro Toledo walking down a street abroad emerge, the Head of State reiterated the detention of Toledo —currently a fugitive from justice thought to be in the U.S.— is "a judicial matter." 

"The fight against corruption was addressed [during the meeting with Donald Trump]. Overseas, Peru is seen as the country working the most in this respect," he told reporters. 

With regard to the meeting with the U.S. Commander-in-Chief, Mr. Kuczynski noted President Trump welcomed him at the White House.

"He was joined by his main White House advisors, and I was accompanied by Foreign Minister Ricardo Luna," he added. 

Peru's leader explained the meeting covered one subject at a time, dealing with migration, trade, as well as the situation of other Latin American countries. 

Concerning commercial ties, he assured the foreign trade agreement (FTA) signed with the U.S. "is well protected."

Finally, the former Wall Street banker said he mentioned the 8th Summit of the Americas, to be hosted by the Inca nation next year.

"He [Mr. Trump] had not realized about it and asked me if all presidents were coming. I told him: 'If you come, then they’re all coming,'" he concluded.

As is known, the Head of State traveled to the North American country on February 23-27 to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump. 

The agenda also included a meeting with U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, as well as a speech and decoration at Mr. Kuczynski's alma mater Princeton University.

Peru, U.S. Presidents discuss trade and migration

Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski on Friday highlighted his meeting with United States counterpart Donald Trump, held at the White House in Washington D.C.

"It was a cordial and constructive meeting. We've talked about topics of common interest such as trade, migration and issues in Latin America," Mr. Kuczynski told reporters after the encounter. 

Among subjects addressed, the Head of State underlined the millions of Peruvians based in the U.S. who earn their livelihood through constructive jobs. 

The dialogue also covered the possibility of maintaining the highly positive relation between both countries. 

U.S. President: Peru has been fantastic neighbor

U.S. President Donald Trump said Peru has been a fantastic neighbor during a meeting he held with Peruvian counterpart Pedro Pablo Kuczynski at the White House in Washington D.C.

Trump spoke to the media at the Oval Office and said "it is a great honor to have President Kuczynski with us from Peru." 

"Peru has been a fantastic neighbor. We've had great relationships, better now than ever before," stated the U.S. leader. 

"I have known him for quite a while through reading about the work that he's done, and I believe he's here to get an award at Princeton," Mr. Trump said.

On the other hand, the Peruvian President commented the gathering addressed aspects of common interests including immigration and trade.

The Peruvian Head of State is the first Latin American leader to visit the White House and the fifth overall since Trump took office in January.

Princeton

The Peruvian President is expected to participate in the conference titled "A New Age for Latin America" to be hosted by prestigious Princeton University on February 25 at 09:00 AM (local time).

As is known, Mr. Kuczynski earned a Master's in Public Affairs in 1961 from Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

He will also receive the James Madison medal on campus during Alumni Day activities on Saturday.

Peru President: We support democracy and the well-being of LatAm

Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski on Friday said his meeting with United States counterpart Donald Trump addressed various subjects of common interest.

"We've had a cordial and constructive conversation where we have talked about migration […] and we talked about trade also," he indicated. 

Migration

Concerning migration affairs, Mr. Kuczynski said the meeting addressed Peruvian citizens based in the U.S., many of whom had fled the Inca nation due to past issues such as terrorism and hyperinflation dating back to the 1980's.

This situation was well-understood by President Trump, he assured.

The Peruvian leader added that, while a part of this group is composed of irregular migrants, only a minor percentage is in jail.

"Peru has not exported criminals to the U.S," he noted.

Trade

Regarding bilateral trade, the statesman referred to the 2018 Summit of the Americas that will be hosted by the Inca nation.

He affirmed the event —to be attended by Mr. Trump— will prove an "opportunity to explore other options" in terms of trade agreements with the U.S. 

Venezuela

On the other hand, the President referred to the humanitarian situation in Venezuela, a common concern for both Peru and the U.S.

In this sense, Mr. Kuczynski reiterated Peru "will do everything it can to guarantee democracy and the well-being of all American countries."

"What we support is democracy," he pointed out.

Toledo

Lastly, as for former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo (2001-20016) —a fugitive from justice over the Odebrecht bribery case and thought to be in U.S. territory— the Head of State said the topic was only briefly mentioned. 

"It is a judicial matter we have not addressed for more than a few seconds. The Peruvian and [U.S.] Judicial Powers are in charge of that, and it will run its course," he said.

As is known, the Peruvian leader was welcomed by President Trump upon arrival at the White House, where they held a 15-minute private audience.  

The Heads of State then took part in a more extended, 25-minute meeting joined by Peruvian Foreign Affairs Minister Ricardo Luna, as well as high-ranking officials from both nations. 

Mr. Kuczynski thus became the first Latin American leader to meet with President Trump since the latter took office on January 20.

Peruvian President addresses upcoming U.S. trip

President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski on Wednesday afternoon announced he will travel to the United States on February 23 to attend a series of events relevant to the development of Peru.

Within this framework, the Head of State will hold a meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at U.N. headquarters in New York on February 24 at 09:30 AM.

Peru's new role in Latin America is one of the main topics that will be addressed at the event. As is known, the Andean country will next year join the U.N. Security Council.

Under the U.N. Charter, the Security Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. It is composed of 15 Members, and each Member has one vote. According to the U.N., Member States are obligated to comply with Council decisions.

"I will talk about our [future] role for the time we [Peru] join the Security Council of the United Nations, the said international institution's top body we will be a part of for two years," the Head of State said in televised address.

"Furthermore, there will be other topics related to migration and deportation of immigrants. We need to defend our fellow citizens, so that won't happen," he added.

Likewise, Peru's accession to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) will be assessed. The said organization adopts measures aimed at achieving a sustainable world.

At the center of the U.N. development system, ECOSOC conducts cutting-edge analysis, agrees on global norms and advocates for progress. Its collective solutions advance sustainable development.

U.S. President

On February 24 at 3:00 PM, President Kuczynski will meet with U.S. counterpart Donald Trump at the White House.

Both leaders will address bilateral relations linked to economic growth and the strengthening of democracy across the region.

"With President Donald Trump, we are going to talk about protecting free trade in the Americas and the world. We are going to talk about political perspectives, and also about Peruvian citizens who reside in the U.S.," the President said.

He went on to add the U.S. economy comprises a relevant matter, given that the North American country is currently Peru's second-largest exports destination.

On February 25 at 09:00 AM, the Head of State will participate in the conference titled "A New Age for Latin America" to be hosted by prestigious Princeton University. As is known, Mr. Kuczynski earned a Master in Public Affairs in 1961 from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

He will also receive the James Madison medal on campus during Alumni Day activities on Saturday.

(END) NDP/MVB
Published: 2/22/2017

Peru's president, Trump to meet Friday in DC: Lima

Peru's President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski will meet with US President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday, the Peruvian government announced Wednesday.

"President Kuczynski will be the first Latin American leader welcomed by Trump" as president, according to his chief of staff, Fernando Zavala.

The two conservative leaders plan to discuss bilateral cooperation and the fight against drug trafficking, Zavala said.

Also likely to be on the agenda is Peru's request for the extradition of former president Alejandro Toledo, who has been charged with graft and is believed to be in the United States.

The White House has not yet formally confirmed the visit.

So far, Trump has welcomed the leaders of Britain, Japan, Canada and Israel to the White House since taking office on January 20.

Kuczynski–Trump meeting to strengthen Peru-U.S. relations

Lima, Feb. 20. The upcoming meeting between Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski and United States counterpart Donald Trump will further consolidate both countries' positive relation, former Foreign Affairs Minister Eduardo Ferrero affirmed.

"It will be a highly positive dialogue. Both presidents will get to know each other […], it will help consolidate the good time in bilateral ties," he told Andina news agency.

The diplomat thus highlighted the audience is certain to open up a channel of communication to address both countries' interests over the next years. 

"This meeting will mark the beginning of good communication to sustain a positive relation," Ferrero remarked. 

The former official also stressed the need to discuss migration affairs considering the number of U.S.-based Peruvians and the country's new immigration policy. Likewise, he referred to the countries' trade ties.

"We have an FTA with the U.S. […] It is in force and the dialogue will be a chance to reaffirm it," he noted.

Peru's Head of State will pay an official visit to the U.S. on February 23-27 to meet with President Donald Trump. Both leaders will address the countries' bilateral agenda. 

The statesman will also visit Princeton University, his alma mater, to give a conference on the Inca nation. He will also be honored by the Ivy League school for his "exceptional career."

(END) VVS/DHT/MVB
Published: 2/20/2017

Peru's president to discuss free trade, migration with Trump

LIMA, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- Peru's President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski will discuss the free-trade agreement (FTA), immigration and investments with U.S. President Donald Trump during a state visit to Washington next week.

Peru's Prime Minister, Fernando Zavala, told a press conference Thursday that Kuczynski's trip to the U.S. (Feb. 23-27) would be important in strengthening ties between the two countries.

Zavala added that the FTA between the two countries, in place since Feb. 1, 2009, has been beneficial for both sides and that it must be protected to continue driving bilateral trade.

The prime minister added that the two leaders would also address bilateral cooperation on security, defense and the fight against drug trafficking.

According to Zavala, Kuczynski will also address the plight of thousands of Peruvian migrants living in the U.S. while talking to Trump.

Finally, the Peruvian leader will seek the joint promotion of bilateral investments, with Peru-U.S. investments dropping in recent years.

Kuczynski will also take the opportunity to formally invite Trump to attend the Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru, in March 2018.

The trip will make Kuczynski the first Latin American leader to meet Trump, and the fifth overall, since the new American president took power on Jan. 20.

Peru, U.S. Presidents to discuss immigration and investments

Lima, Feb. 16. As part of his visit to the United States next week, Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski will discuss migration affairs and investment promotion with U.S. counterpart Donald Trump, Prime Minister Fernando Zavala informed on Thursday.

In this sense, the Cabinet Chief stressed the importance of safeguarding the interests of Peruvians residing in the U.S. in light of its new immigration policy. 

"Protecting the Peruvian community based in the United States is one point of the agenda. We need to discuss migration issues, since we don't want this immigration policy to affect our fellow nationals," he said. 

On the other hand, Zavala assured the visit —scheduled for February 23-27— will be paramount to the future of the country given its potential benefits. 

In addition, agenda topics will include the protection of Peruvian investments, bilateral trade and the countries' FTA, which has proved beneficial for both parties. 

Mr. Kuczynski's presence in the U.S. will also serve to further strengthen bilateral ties and cooperation in security, defense and the fight against drug-trafficking. 

The Peruvian statesman will be the fifth leader to meet with President Trump and the first from Latin America. The U.S. President has so far met with representatives from the United Kingdom, Israel, Japan and Canada.

Mr. Kuczynski will also request the United States' support to join the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

During his stay in the U.S. the top official will participate in a conference at Princeton University. In this sense, he will talk about challenges and investments in Peru, thus promoting investments in the Andean nation. 

The 78-year-old will also take the opportunity to invite Mr. Trump to the Summit of the Americas, to be hosted by the Inca nation in 2018. 

Lastly, the Prime Minister said the extradition of former President Alejandro Toledo —currently a fugitive from justice thought to be in the U.S.— will not be addressed.

Remarks were made during a Congress session to address the trip request by the Executive Branch.

Peru Congress authorizes presidential trip to the U.S.

Lima, Feb. 16. Peruvian Congress authorized President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski's trip to the United States scheduled for February 23-27.

While abroad, the Head of State will hold a meeting with U.S. counterpart Donald Trump and attend a Princeton University event.

Previously requested by the Executive Power, authorization was granted at Thursday's permanent commission session.

 

Corresponding resolution will be published in official El Peruano gazette.

 

Earlier on today, Prime Minister Fernando Zavala attended the session to address the request by the Executive Branch.

 

Trump

 

U.S. President Trump last Sunday invited his Peruvian counterpart for an official visit to his country, in order to deepen bilateral relations, Peru's Foreign Affairs Ministry reported.

The invitation was made during a phone call, in which the U.S. Commander-in-Chief said he hopes to hold a meeting with Mr. Kuczynski.

Likewise, both leaders exchanged views on the status of bilateral relations and the wide range of possibilities to deepen them on the bases of the defense of democratic principles and fight against corruption.

Subjects discussed also included strengthening economic growth, the humanitarian situation in Venezuela, as well as the promotion of democratic governance in the region. 

 

(END) MVF/FHG/MVB


Published: 2/16/2017

PPK to meet Trump later this month

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Ana GameroDonald Trump has expressed interest in meeting Peru’s President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (PPK) as he reportedly invited him to visit the U.S. The Peruvian President considers such a visit as a great opportunity to strengthen bilateral ties between the U.S and Peru. Therefore, yesterday, he has requested the Peruvian Congress to travel to the U.S for an official visit that will last four days (February 23-27).

Ahead of the visit, PPK said that as part of the bilateral agenda he is eager to improve both countries’ cooperation to facilitate the defense of democracy and to fight against corruption.

The Peruvian President is also scheduled to visit the University of Princeton. He was invited to give a discourse about the Peruvian economy and the country’s current political situation.

Readout of the President’s Call with President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski of Peru

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

President Donald J. Trump spoke today with President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski of Peru to reinforce the strong bilateral ties that exist between the United States and Peru.  The two leaders agreed on the importance of building a foundation for robust economic growth in both countries. President Trump expressed concerns about developments in Venezuela, including that country’s humanitarian situation, and the two leaders discussed the need to promote democratic governance throughout the Western Hemisphere.  President Trump and President Kuczynski look forward to meeting with each other in the near future.