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Presidents Obama and Solís discuss renewable energy

U.S. President Barack Obama met with Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís Friday at the Summit of the Americas, where the two leaders briefly discussed climate change and renewable energy, among other topics.

Solís met privately with Obama following a joint meeting between U.S. officials and members of the Central American Integration System, SICA.

Solís noted that Costa Rica has produced all of its electricity this year through renewable power, mostly hydroelectric dams. And he asked Obama to consider more technical assistance for developing renewable energy in the region.

Obama cited Costa Rica as a model for renewables and said Central America and the United States should be in the vanguard for such technology, the Costa Rican government reported.

“It was a short meeting but very good,” Solís told reporters.

Besides the environment and renewable energy, the two leaders touched on security issues and U.S. investment in Costa Rica.

During the meeting between Obama and SICA leaders, Solís lobbied for assistance for technical education for women, indigenous and Afro-descendent peoples, and pushed for a regional plan to support small and medium-sized businesses. The latter is a topic he also stressed during his 2014 presidential campaign.

Solís also argued for Central America to be seen as a single bloc when it comes to issues like immigration and aid.

Obama encouraged SICA heads of state to continue pursuing regional integration, promote trade and approach security as a region, according to a statement from the U.S. State Department.

The two leaders also met during the civil society forum Friday with Uruguayan President Tabaré Vásquez.

More news on the Summit of the Americas:

Obama looks to Cuba shift to win back Latin America at summit

Venezuelan, Cuban youth ready to lash out at their governments during youth summit in Panama

Cuba, Venezuela likely to overshadow Central American issues at Panama summit

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