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Dominican President Lauds 'Profound' Shift in US Policy

The Dominican Republic's president is hailing what he said is a "profound" shift in U.S. foreign policy toward Latin America.

President Leonel Fernandez met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Santo Domingo, telling reporters Friday the Obama administration has sent a clear message of respect to Latin American countries.

Mr. Fernandez said President Barack Obama has made important symbolic gestures, such as making the decision to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and allowing unlimited family travel and remittances to Cuba.

During a joint news conference, Secretary Clinton said the United States and the Dominican Republic will work together to fight drug trafficking and climate change. She also said they will partner to boost trade, investments, commerce, and energy independence.

After the news conference, Clinton held a "digital town hall" meeting in Santo Domingo, taking questions from a live audience and submitted through the internet.

Clinton said the United States wants to work with the region to ensure all people are safe and secure, that natural resources are harnessed and protected, and that peace and prosperity grow.