Sunday, May 28, 2023

Colombia calls the US its partner and promises not to be oppressed


BOGOTÁ ( Associated Press) – Colombia is believed to remain an ally and ally of the United States and promises not to surprise changes in the focus of the bilateral agenda promoted by the first wing of the left-wing government of President Gustavo Pedro.

“There is a new head of state that has a speech, but it is not surprising. It will never be a surprise on our part with the relationship with our long-term partner, which is the United States of America”, Foreign Minister Álvaro Leyva Durán said on Monday in the organization of the 10th High-Level Dialogue between Colombia and the United States. which takes place in Washington.

Again, the US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, highlighted the strong relationship that both countries have shared over two centuries of relations and “expanded” by governments. He added that they seem to have a common basis for a vibrant democracy.

Leyva Durán emphasized that the bilateral agenda in the High-Level Dialogue should be varied and no longer focus only on the fight against drugs, but also on the environment, migration, economic opportunities and promoting energy.

“We were in the Coca region, today we are one of the great sponges to solve the possible removal of the human race on the planet, we are saving the planet,” said Leyva.

Blinken stated that the United States wants to help Colombia achieve its climate ambitions with protection of the Amazon and technical assistance in solar and wind energy projects.

Regarding the counternarcotics policy, Blinken stated that he works in a “holistic approach” in which they study how to reduce the demand for drugs by investing in the prevention of substance abuse and the treatment of those who struggle with addictions, because “This is it.” fundamentally a public health problem. “

Blinken added that it is also about discussing ways to reduce the supply, which is why he proposed to strengthen the ban on the land and sea drug trade and to provide vulnerable communities with alternative ways of earning a living.

Petro proposed an anti-narcotics control plan considering that “the war on drugs has failed” under the approach of the prohibitionists, which is why he proposes to increase the possibility of interdiction, the intelligence to catch big drug dealers and stop the persecution of small ones. the producer of coca leaves -raw material for cocaine- which proposes to go legal with programs to replace illegal products.

Colombia has reached a historic level of 204,000 hectares of coca leaf planted in 2021, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). However, within the framework of this new plan, the Colombian police set a goal of cutting down 20,000 hectares of illegal crops in 2023, which means a reduction compared to the goal of 50,000 hectares in 2022.

The United States and Columbia are discussing how the anti-narcotics policy, which supports the voluntary eradication of drug use, will work in those states. “We believe it will be very difficult if there is no bottom force in the crop and especially before the voluntary eradication program is established,” Brian Nichols, assistant secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere, told the US Senate on March 15. .

Leyva stated that in the second semester of this year he met in the Latin American conference on the drug trade that “stopped the Colombian issue”. And he pointed out: “It is a multinational drug-trafficking container.”

With regard to the growing migration, a concern shared by both parties, Blinken highlighted that Colombia has covered more than 1.5 million Venezuelans who are in its territory with the Statute of Temporary Protection, which allows them to integrate into the economy and access to education and health services.

“Colombia shows how migration, when handled safely, humanely and as a region, can increase stability and opportunity, not burden, communities,” Blinken said.

For his part, Leyva recalled Peter’s proposal this weekend to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to hold a summit of American nations on the issue of migration in Mexico City to protest “without political exclusions”.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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