US Secretary of State Antony Blinken Wednesday arrived in Bogotá for a 2-day official visit to Colombia, during which he was to discuss bilateral issues with local authorities.
Blinken was elcomed by Colombian President Iván Duque upon his arrival. Duque himself was just back from a trip to Brasilia and Sao Paulo, where he met with President Jair Bolsonaro and also with a number of prominent Brazilian businessmen.
Topping the agenda between Blinken and Duque is the fight against drug trafficking and the Venezuela migration crisis as well as the preservation of democracy in the region, the Final Peace Agreement with FARC guerrillas and also climate change, ahead of the Glasgow summit.
We have a relationship that is one of the deepest and oldest in the hemisphere that touches all facets of our lives, our economies, our security, said Blinken in a post-meeting statement.
Blinken also pointed out that making democracy work throughout Latin America was a top priority for US President Joseph Biden.
The US official also praised Duque for his decree creating the Temporary Protection Statute for Venezuelan Migrants.
“Colombia is our partner to face our worst crisis, which is climate change. In a country where 75% come from deforestation and agriculture, we are working to find sustainable ways,” Blinken also pointed out.
Regarding human rights in Colombia, Blinken demanded there should be no impunity. Ending impunity is the best way to avoid abuses in the future, he said.
Meanwhile, Duque recalled that next year will mark 200 years of diplomatic relations between Colombia and the United States. Colombia was the first former Spanish colony to be recognized by the United States, and in the last 30 years we have been able to face many challenges and the country is in great progress due to the support of the United States, he said.
Duque also thanked Blinken for the donation of millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines.