US relations with Panama 'very strong'


WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump said the United States has a "very strong" relationship with Panama and is noting the nation's role in building the Panama Canal.

The president and first lady Melania Trump welcomed Panama President Juan Carlos Varela and his wife, Lorena, to the White House.

Trump tells reporters in the Oval Office that the "Panama Canal is doing quite well." He says to Varela, "I think we did a good job building it, right?"

Varela says the U.S. and Panama face many of the same challenges in the region so he says "the idea of this visit is to work closely together."

Trump and Varela are expected to discuss organized crime, immigration and fighting drug trafficking.

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