United States and Colombia concluded this Tuesday in Washington his tenth dialogue of High level with the same message: there are differences, but also the willingness to advance in a joint agenda.
(Read here: ‘There will never be a surprise on our part with our US ally’: Leyva)
According to the Colombian Vice Foreign Minister, Francisco Coy, who closed the talks on behalf of the Colombian government, it was agreed to work in some 100 initiatives at all levels which from now on will be reviewed quarterly to ensure compliance.
(See also: US Senator asks Colombia to comply with commitments in the fight against drugs)
“It was a two-day job but a 6-month preparation, in 7 work groups with more than 28 issues and more than 100 commitments… And that reflect the enormous richness of a relationship in which we agree on most issues and where we have differences we are working to bring them forwardCoy said.
Now we have a better understanding and they know better what can work and what doesn’t and we have to assume that they are acting in good faith.
Francisco Palmieri, United States ambassador to Bogotá, andHe used a similar theme in his closing remarks.
For Palmieri, the Dialogue It was very successful because perspectives were shared to better understand the policies of President Petro and in which the strength of a 200-year relationship “allows us to advance on the issues we agree on but also grow on those we have differences”.
Palmieri, in turn, said that after “such successful dialogues”, it was “interesting and logical”. think of a meeting between presidents Gustavo Petro and Joe Bidenbut that this was a decision that corresponded to the White House.When talking about the thorny issue of the fight against drug trafficking, Palmieri also offered conciliatory words.
“It is something that both countries have been working on for more than 20 years and among friends we can discuss differences and points of emphasis, but I would not say that it is a problem, but rather an opportunity to improve cooperation and understand that this new government has its own approach. and we must adapt to support their lines of effort,” said the ambassador.
In Congress, where criticism of the Petro government’s anti-narcotics policy has begun to be heard, more moderate voices willing to give the new strategy a chance were also heard.
Bob Menendez and James Rischthe highest-ranking Democratic and Republican presidents on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, respectively, were calmer when listening to the explanations given by Foreign Minister Álvaro Leyva.
“It was a good meeting and a frank discussion where we talked about coca crops and the fight against traffickers. It is the first time we were able to hear what the strategy is, and we have doubts about that strategy but the important thing is the results and not the intentions,” Menendez said.
Risch, for his part, said that until the meeting with the Chancellor and the Minister of Justice Néstor Osuna, no one on Capitol Hill understood what President Petro’s strategy was.
“Now -said Risch-, we have a better understanding and they know better what can work and what doesn’t and we have to assume that they are acting in good faith and that they are going to implement what they propose and that they will be successful, but we will be watching” .
On the subject of Cuba, which has been going around in Washington since Vice President Francia Márquez said that there was no dictatorship in that country and defended its health system, Palmieri was more emphatic.
“Our position is clear and known. It is an undemocratic regime that has violated the human rights of its people. But we can discuss the different perspectives on it,” the ambassador said.
SERGIO GOMEZ MASERI
EL TIEMPO correspondent
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