U.S. President Barack Obama says he hopes to cooperate with Chile on clean energy and other scientific initiatives, as Chilean President Michelle Bachelet visits the U.S. capital.

The two leaders met Tuesday at the White House. Afterward, Mr. Obama commended Ms. Bachelet on the way Chile handled its economy during the recent economic downturn, saying she is doing "an outstanding job." He also said Washington hopes to work with the South American nation on such projects as alternative energy sources and treatment for influenza and cancer.

Ms. Bachelet responded with compliments on Mr. Obama's foreign policy efforts and the government's response to the economic crisis. She said Chilean experts are working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control on flu vaccines in preparation for the U.S. flu season, which starts later in the year.

The State Department says the United States and Chile have agreed to consult each other on mutual goals including fighting poverty, improving education and enhancing social protection for lower income segments of society.

In a statement, the State Department says the United States will work with Chile to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in the Americas.