Welcomed by Colombian Foreign Minister Marta Lucia Ramirez, Blinken was received by President Ivan Duque at Casa de Narino, the presidential palace in the capital, Bogota.
After the tete-a-tete and between the delegations, Duque and Blinken held a joint press conference.
Duque stated that the relations between the two countries date back to a long history and said, “We have been allies and brotherly countries in the defense of democracy as well as principles and values in our region for 200 years. Our cooperation in the fight against drug smuggling and preventing migration continues to increase.”
“We will not stop raising our voice against the regime”
Referring to the fact that they reopened the borders with the neighboring country Venezuela in June, Duque said, “Colombia will not recognize the dictatorship of corruption and drug trafficking. As long as I am president and I defend democratic values, we will not recognize him (Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro). Accepting this would be surrender, we will not stop raising our voice against the regime. ” said.
Stressing that they see Colombia as one of the most important allies in the region, Blinken said, “President Biden asked me to go to Colombia on my first trip to South America. Colombia is a friend of the United States and one of the most important allies in the many challenges America faces. We see it,” he said.
“We must address the underlying causes of irregular migration”
Stating that the USA allocates significant resources for aid to countries hosting immigrants, Blinken said, “We must have a common responsibility beyond our borders, we are ready to face these problems. We must address the underlying causes of irregular migration.”
Recalling that the US continues to broadly support the implementation of the peace agreement (the peace agreement with FARC), Blinken said, “The US values strong agreements. It would be fair to say that there have been significant advances: political participation, demobilization of militants, truth commission, these are real and important. success,” he said.
Blinken congratulated Duque, who signed the decree granting Ten-year Temporary Protection Status to Venezuelan immigrants, and said that it is a model for the world.