Economy January 24, 2017 | 4:39 pm

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Trump looms large at Dominican Republic regional conclave

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. – Thepresidents of Latin America and the Caribbean or their representatives meetTuesday to discuss plans on immigration, security and drug trafficking amiduncertainty over the region’s future ties with US president Donald Trump.

Though the trade and political ties with thenew US administration doesn’t figure in the meeting’s official agenda, DominicanForeign minister Miguel Vargas didn’t rule out addressing the issue during the meetingof leaders on Wednesday.

"Our purpose is to widen and sustainrelations at the highest level with the United States, because the commitmentin the case of the countries that form CELAC, in terms of relations, is withthe government and with the American people" and not only with the newpresident, Vargas said, quoted by

Dominican president Danilo Medina will inauguratethe Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) summit Tuesdaynight in the Barcelo Bávaro luxury hotel complex in Punta Cana??, 200kilometers east of Santo Domingo.

Prior to the meeting of leaders, foreignministers and representatives from the 33 nations that make up the group onTuesday will draft the statement that will be signed by the leaders on foodsecurity, immigration and the fight against drug trafficking.

The leaders also plan to sign 20 individualresolutions, including one to call for an end to the US blockade on Cuba.

The regional summit comes a few days afterTrump’s protectionist speech and announcement to renegotiate a similaragreement with Central America and the Dominican Republic DR-Cafta.

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