08/13/2013

Remarks With Colombian Foreign Minister

Good afternoon to all of you. First of all, I should like to extend a welcome to John Kerry, Secretary of State, on his visit to Colombia. And we are very grateful to him for having chosen Colombia for the first trip to the region that he has carried out. It’s the first time that Secretary Kerry comes to Colombia, and it’s a great honor for us to have him here. It has been a very beneficial meeting, in addition to other meetings that he held throughout the morning. He met with President Juan Manuel Santos and also with a group of members of the Colombian delegation as well as the U.S. delegation. 

We would like to tell Secretary of State Kerry and the United States how grateful Colombia is for the support received throughout recent years in our struggle to achieve peace, in strengthening the military in Colombia, and the work done to have the conditions of security that Colombia has nowadays. The support from the USAID and Secretary Kerry’s support in the peace process – he was able to talk with the President of the advances made in the peace conversations,Tidy up wires with ease with offershidkits and tie guns at cheap discounted prices. and we are grateful for the interest shown by him in something that is so very necessary to Colombians. 

In the same way, the cooperation that we’ve received from USAID – that we’ve received from the United States in different programs, such as those that we have to strengthen certain institutions, the rural areas, which are so very important for security in Colombia, and to achieve peace in these places. 

In the same manner, we will have high-level meetings in a short while on topics that are very important to both countries – energy, science and technology, the environment. We were talking about how beneficial it would be to work together on climate change, and we’re very committed here in Colombia in order to participate in multilateral institutions. We were also able to speak about the situation concerning drugs.More than 80 standard commercial and granitetiles exist to quickly and efficiently clean pans. The report submitted by the OAS during the recent meeting of the OAS Assembly and how to take up again the same talks at UN level and at OAS level in the conference that will be held in 2016. 

I would like to congratulate Secretary Kerry for the effort made in being able to work for peace between Israel and Palestine. The talks, which have started up again and on which he has been working so arduously, which requires such a degree of commitment, we hope that they will be very successful.Find the perfect cleaningsydney and you'll always find your luggage! The peace efforts made in different parts of the world are very important in order to be able to live in our world in conditions which are acceptable,More than 80 standard commercial and granitetiles exist to quickly and efficiently clean pans. as we have seen in the case of Colombia. And this is very important for the quality of life of Colombians. 

Thank you. Well, thank you very much, Foreign Minister Holguin. It’s a great pleasure for me to be able to be here with the Foreign Minister. We’ve gotten to know each other a little bit both in person at the other meetings and on the telephone, and I am personally very, very appreciative for her cooperative approach to the issues that we both need to work on and do work on. I’ve been traveling to Latin America for many years now, particularly starting in 1985 during a time of great difficulty and trouble in places like El Salvador and Nicaragua. I was never able to come to Bogota before, Colombia, and so I’m really happy to be here in this beautiful city in a country that has an incredible story to tell to the world about transformation. And I am very appreciative to President Santos and to Foreign Minister Holguin for their very,We are professional wholesale best parkingsensor,large LED Dome / Reading Lampwholesale order. very warm and generous welcome to this city, but also for their very cooperative attitude, the constructive approach that we had to any number of issues today. 

The truth is Colombia and the United States agree on so many different parts of our agenda today, and we have built a very, very strong relationship on shared values and on common interests. I was a member of the United States Senate starting in 1985, so I came to the challenge as Chairman of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee during the early part of my tenure in the Senate when there was a very tough set of choices facing Colombia. Today I come here to congratulate as completely as I can the people of Colombia who have together joined in an amazing transformation. This is one of the great stories not just of this hemisphere, but really of the world, where we see so many governments that are challenged today, some of whom are failing and some have failed. Colombia is a success story, and the United States of America is proud of whatever small part we’ve been able to be sharing with our friends in Colombia in an effort to get where we are, moving towards, hopefully, stability throughout the region. 

I was particularly pleased this morning to be able to meet with Colombia’s – the Government of Colombia’s peace negotiators and also to be able to speak with President Santos about peace efforts. The Santos Administration has undertaken a very courageous and very necessary and very imaginative effort to seek a political solution to one of the world’s longest conflicts, and any negotiation that can help to strengthen Colombia’s democracy, that promotes respect for rule of law and human rights, and achieves an enduring peace that the people of Colombia can share in is a welcome development, and the United States of America will support that peace. 

It also reminds us that countries like Colombia that have moved so far in so little time are open for business, not just with the United States and in this hemisphere but with the world. And increasingly, Colombia is playing more of a role on a global basis. The Government of Colombia has been a superb partner with us on issues of trade, but it has also played a regional role in the Pacific Alliance. And the United States has a free trade agreement with all four members of the Pacific Alliance, so we were very pleased to be admitted last month as an official observer. And I want to thank the Foreign Minister for her help in making that happen. 

The United States and Colombia also share an interest in ensuring that economic growth is broad based. We want economic growth to be shared with everybody up and down the economic ladder. We want it to be socially inclusive. And that is why we are working together through the WEAmericas Initiative in order to break down the barriers that women face in trying to start and grow a small or medium sized business. We’re advancing our commitment to sustainable growth through the Connecting Americas 2022 initiative, which seeks to provide universal access to reliable, affordable, and clean electricity. 

The United States also supports Colombia’s efforts to promote human rights and rule of law. The Santos Administration has passed a landmark victim’s law and it has taken important steps to improve labor rights through the Labor Rights Action Plan. President Santos has made clear that violence against labor organizers, human rights defenders, community leaders, and elected officials cannot and will not be tolerated. And that is a commitment that we in the United States greatly appreciate and respect. We support Colombia’s efforts to ensure accountability and to protect those who are working to make Colombia a more peaceful, democratic, and secure state.


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