Colombia and Uruguay Friday signed an agreement on extradition and cooperation in judicial matters during a meeting in Cartagena.
Today this judicial cooperation and extradition treaty has been signed, which will allow us to continue joining efforts, said hosting President Iván Duque in a statement after a meeting with his Uruguayan colleague
Luis Lacalle Pou in Cartagena, during which both leaders were also reported to have discussed bilateral trade and investments.
The treaty was signed by Foreign Minister Francisco Bustillo on behalf of Uruguay and by Colombia's Vice President and Foreign Minister Marta Lucía Ramírez.
While making the official announcement, Duque underlined what the Uruguayan government has done in the fight against drug trafficking, namely the seizing of large amounts of narcotics or the arrest of various gang members.
This reaffirms not only your vocation to see security as a public good and a democratic value, but also the multi-front approach you have had to the drug phenomenon, where you have had an approach from the point of view of public health, social management, development of pharmaceutical faculties and capabilities, Duque told Lacalle in Cartagena.
Duque, who will leave office next August 7, said that Colombia and Uruguay have strengthened their commercial relationship to the highest historical point ever recorded, even in times of pandemic... and we see with very good eyes the possibility that we can in the remainder of this administration take that step that has already begun in terms of reciprocity and joint investment protection, Duque went on.
We have seen how much Uruguayan investment is coming to Colombia and how Colombian investors are coming to Uruguay in many areas, he added.
Duque also stressed that Lacalle Pou's visit allows both nations to strengthen fraternal ties, but also commercial and investment ties and, of course, transnational cooperation in the fight against crime.
Lacalle Pou replied that Colombians and Uruguayans will always have complementary interests. He also valued Duque's work facilitating the relationship between the governments.
The Uruguayan head of state also praised Colombia for a smooth transition after leftwing candidate Gustavo Petro won the presidential runoff last month, by mentioning a civilized and democratic transfer of command, the kind that takes place in serious countries worthwhile visiting.
In a joint statement, both countries also highlighted the importance of South-South Cooperation as a strategic mechanism of foreign policy for the modernization and strengthening of public policies and renewed the 2021-2023 Cooperation Program, which had been approved back in September of 2021 and which includes 7 projects that will contribute to strengthening the technical and institutional capacities of both countries.
The two presidents also agreed on the importance of continuing to deepen Colombia's association with the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) and recalled their commitment to the energy transition as a key to climate action.
Lacalle, who is staying in Cartagena until Sunday, also praised Duque's generous voice during the COVID-19 pandemic, those moments of loneliness of decisions where there were no parameters or successful protocols in the world, Duque was always on the phone for some uncertainties that Colombia had already gone through and Uruguay was about to go through.”