Local August 3, 2012 | 11:13 am

Dominican Rep., the U.S. trade antinarcotics war kudos(Update)

SANTO DOMINGO. – President Leonel Fernandez on Friday called Leonhart’s acknowledgment of the Dominican Government’s efforts in the war on drug trafficking a great recognition, regarding the ??great strides made to reduce and control the criminal activity.

The chief executive bestowed the Duarte, Sanchez and Mella Order of Merit on the director of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), in a ceremony in the National Palace.

FILE.- U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) director Michele Leonhart, who arrived in the country last night, called Dominican Republic a strategic ally in the region’s war on drug trafficking and pledged Washington’s continued to support for what she called an outstanding job by the National Drug Control Agency’s (DNCD).

"I appreciate everything you do for us," the U.S. official said in a National Palace meeting with DNCD president Rolando Rosado and Presidency Antinarcotics adviser Marino Vinicio Castillo.

Leonhart, who’ll be recognized in the National Palace by president Leonel Fernandez Friday morning, had also met with senior military and police officials, accompanied by DEA Houston Division chief Javier Peña, Caribbean Bureau officers Pedro Janer and Sergio Luna, as well as John Niedzialek, in charge of the Santo Domingo offices.

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