Uruguayan President Tabare Ramon Vazquez says he intends to strengthen bilateral relations with the United States.

In a recent interview with VOA, Mr. Vazquez emphasized the good relations between the two countries, but also said he wants to use bilateral agreements as the basis for similar accords with other governments. The Uruguayan leader said he wants to do so through what he called "an open market," not with loans.

Regional integration was a prominent theme in Mr. Vazquez's campaign for the Uruguayan presidency, which he won last October. He assumed the presidency last March.