U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, second right, greets the press as he is accompanied by Dominican Republic's President Danilo Medina, right, and Dominican Republic's Vice President Margarita Cedeno, second left, after a meeting at the presidential palace in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Thursday, June 19, 2014. Vice President Biden met with the leader of the island nation for talks touching on energy security, crime-fighting, trade and citizenship rights.Manuel Diaz / AP
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Vice President Joe Biden visited the Dominican Republic and met with President Danilo Medina. The leaders discussed energy security, crime-fighting, trade and citizenship rights. This was the first time that a U.S. vice president had visited the Caribbean country since Hubert Humphrey made the trip in 1966.
Among the issues they discussed was the fight against drug traffickers and other transnational crime. An estimated 6 percent of the cocaine bound for the U.S. passes through the Dominican Republic, according to American officials.
Biden praised the Dominican president for enacting legislation to create a path to citizenship for people of Haitian descent born in the Dominican Republic, describing it as a "bold step that required bold leadership."
This legislation came after an international outcry over a court ruling last September stating that people born in the Dominican Republic to migrants who were not in the country legally were not automatically entitled to citizenship, basically rending thousands of people stateless, most of them Haitian. The ruling worsened tensions between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, which share the island of Hispaniola.
The Vice President also visited a solar energy facility.