US National Security Advisor Visits Panama to Strengthen Collaboration Against COVID-19

US National Security Advisor Visits Panama to Strengthen Collaboration Against COVID-19

By U.S. Embassy in Panama/Edited by Diálogo Staff
September 21, 2020

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U.S. National Security Advisor Ambassador Robert O’Brien visited Panama on August 17 to work together with one of our strongest regional partners to counter the COVID-19 pandemic.

The United States has offered $4.4 million in assistance to support COVID-19 response efforts in Panama.

During the visit, Ambassador O’Brien announced the signing of the expansion of the América Crece (Growth in the Americas) memorandum of understanding, which aims to promote Panama’s economic development, and spoke with senior Panamanian government officials about creating a U.S.-Panama joint task force to counter corruption and money laundering.

Finally, Ambassador O’Brien took part in a ceremony marking the donation of 50 ventilators, 6,600 test kits, and other necessary supplies to fight COVID-19.

Ambassador O’Brien met with Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo and spoke about the U.S. assistance to counter COVID-19, economic growth, strengthening security cooperation, and fighting against money laundering and terrorism financing.

Panama was the first country to sign the América Crece memorandum of understanding in 2018, which was focused on energy infrastructure. This expanded memorandum will allow to continue channeling resources and knowledge from U.S. government agencies to promote job creation and infrastructure projects in Panama.

President Cortizo and Ambassador O’Brien spoke about the creation of a task force to counter money laundering and corruption. The task force consists of training and consulting services from FBI personnel to prosecutors, security agents, and regulatory agencies in Panama. The task force will focus on dismantling money laundering networks and strengthening capabilities to investigate and prosecute corruption and money laundering cases.