The two leaders then headed into private talks to focus largely on the fight against corruption and organized crime. "We are doing a lot of work with Paraguay on terrorism, drugs, trade. A lot of different things,” Trump said.
Abdo replied in English that his visit to the White House was a “great honor” for his country. The Trump administration counts Abdo among its allies in the region. In August, it complimented Paraguay for designating Hezbollah, al-Qa’ida, The Islamic State group and Hamas as terrorist organizations.
U.S. officials have long been concerned about smuggling and suspected terrorist money laundering in the Tri-Border Area shared between Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina. Earlier this week, the FBI and Justice Department created a team to work with authorities in Paraguay, a nation of about 7 million people.
Abdo’s father served as private secretary over 25 years for military strongman Gen. Alfredo Stroessner, who ruled Paraguay with an iron fist from 1954 to 1989. Abdo got a degree in marketing in the United States.
Their meeting came days after the Department of State imposed sanctions earlier this week on two former Paraguayan officials due to their alleged involvement in significant corruption: ex-Sen. Oscar González Daher, a former president of Paraguay’s judicial disciplinary board, and former Attorney General Javier Díaz Verón.
Luis Alonso Lugo on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/luisalonsolugo