High Representative/Vice-President (HR/VP) Josep Borrell met with the President of Colombia Ivan Duque Marquez today. The meeting was an opportunity to further strengthen the close and long-standing relations between the EU and Colombia.
HR/VP l welcomed progress in implementing the Memorandum of Understanding on an “Agenda of enhanced political and sectoral dialogue and cooperation for the next decade”, which the HR/VP had signed together with the Colombian Vice-President and Foreign Minister Marta Lucia Ramirez last September in New York. The HR/VP informed the President that he has decided to launch preparations for negotiations for a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Colombia, complementing the multi-party trade agreement.
HR/VP Borrell emphasised that as the EU and Colombia are embarking on the path towards an ever deeper and broader partnership, the implementation of the historic 2016 Peace Agreement will remain at the centre of the EU’s engagement.
He also expressed the EU’s solidarity with Colombia facing the COVID-19 pandemic, commending the Government’s successful vaccination campaign and reiterated the commitment to work closely together towards a green, inclusive and digital post-Covid recovery. HR/VP Borrell highlighted the recent waves of social protests in Colombia and the concerns with human rights abuses and violations.
HR/VP noted Colombia’s admirable approach towards Venezuelan refugees and migrants, notably through the granting of Temporary Settlement Status to the approx. 1.8 million Venezuelans in the country and reiterated the EU’s continued commitment to support Colombia in this crisis. HR/VP Borrell and President Duque also discussed the current political situation in Colombia, including the upcoming legislative and presidential elections to which an EU Election Observation Mission has been sent.
The EU and Colombia have a matching agenda, notably on climate change, biodiversity and environment and will continue working closely together bilaterally, regionally and at multilateral levels.