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Secretary Abraham Promotes
Regional Energy Cooperation at Hemispheric Energy Ministers Conference in Mexico

Read Secretary Abraham's Speech at www.energy.gov. Check the ‘Headlines' Section.

(Mexico City, Mexico) Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham's participation this week at the Hemispheric Energy Ministers Conference in Mexico proved successful as his first foreign trip, with four significant steps made to promote regional energy cooperation.

Secretary Abraham and other Energy Ministers from North, South, and Central America approved the Mexico Declaration outlining the opportunities and challenges for the region's energy sector and endorsed a message to their heads of state who will meet in Canada in April for the Summit of the Americas.

Secretary Abraham convened the first-ever trilateral meeting with Mexican Energy Secretary Ernesto Martens and Canadian Energy Minister Ralph Goodale to discuss North American energy issues. The three ministers announced the formation of a North American Energy Working Group to begin developing a comprehensive energy strategy.

"At this historic meeting, we agreed on the need for a strategy that promotes regional integration and helps meet the needs of the people of North America, while respecting the sovereignty of each country," Abraham noted.

In addition, Secretary Abraham and Secretary Martens announced the activation of the Electricity Working Group to facilitate enhanced cross-border electricity trade between Mexico and the United States of America. And finally, Secretary Abraham, on behalf of the United States, signed an energy cooperation agreement with Peru to facilitate energy cooperation between Peru and the United States and invited Peruvian Energy Minister for further talks in Washington next month.

In a keynote speech to the Energy Ministers, Abraham stressed the importance of building relationships among our neighbors that will contribute to a shared energy security. "The kind of true energy partnership which we seek represents the deepest friendship across borders B for pipelines and power lines literally bind us together like a continuous handshake," Abraham said. "The Bush Administration sees the opportunities and advantages of building upon our strong foundation of hemispheric energy cooperation as a vital component of our future energy policy."

The meeting also gave industry representatives the opportunity to meet with governments in the region to explore investment opportunities and discuss ways to advance energy sector development and ensure a secure, reliable supply of energy.

Media Contact:  Jeanne Lopatto or Joe Davis, 202/586-4940

Release No. R-01-036
Release Date: March 9, 2001

(Editor's note: Emphasis added)
(Original Web Page: http://www.energy.gov/HQPress/releases01/marpr/pr01036.htm)