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Biden: 'New Day' for Partnership in Americas

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is on a four-day trip to Central and South America for meetings he said represent a "new day" for partnerships in the Americas.

Biden made the remark in an opinion piece that was published by 11 newspapers in Latin America Friday, coinciding with Biden's arrival in Chile for meetings with Latin American leaders.

The leaders are gathering in Chile and Costa Rica to discuss common interests and challenges ahead of a Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago next month.

Biden said nations are interconnected and have a duty to work together. He called for partnerships to help solve the global economic crisis, fight illegal drug and weapons smuggling, battle climate change and promote democracy.

The Chilean conference, hosted by Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, includes leaders of progressive, or center-left, countries. Leaders from Britain, Norway, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay are also attending.

Organizers of the progressive governance meeting hope to craft ideas that can be presented at the G-20 (industrialized and developing nations) summit in London next month.

Biden then travels to Costa Rica for a meeting with Central American leaders.