April 22, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Behind the scenes of the meeting between Alberto Fernandez and Gustavo Pedro | Support for “total peace” in Colombia and new challenges for “Latin American integration”.

Behind the scenes of the meeting between Alberto Fernandez and Gustavo Pedro |  Support for “total peace” in Colombia and new challenges for “Latin American integration”.

From Bogotá

Colombia’s capital, which turned 484 years old on Saturday, is filling the Plaza de Bolivar with people attending the investiture of new President Gustavo Pedro for the first time in its history. This Sunday, in the hours before the inauguration, Pedro received President Alberto Fernández in the private mansion of the Palace of San Carlos, where liberator Simon Bolivar lived.. With all the actors involved in the armed conflict, Fernández offered Argentina’s permanent support for the great challenge of the new president achieving complete peace.

Fernández praised Pedro’s decision to resume dialogue with the National Liberation Army (ELN) and expressed Argentina’s willingness to go along with the process of ending violence after six decades of war. “We have carefully followed the proposals and guidelines to achieve complete peace during the election campaign and after the victory. “We are determined to continue and strengthen Argentina’s commitment and support for peace in Colombia,” the President said.

In these ways, he underlined a certain aspect of the process. “We are going to maintain our presence in the United Nations Verification Mission in the Republic of Colombia (UNMVC), which we have been part of since its inception.”

The Colombian Truth Commission presented its final report last Friday at ExEsma’s cultural center “Haroldo Conti”. A model of how neighboring countries’ human rights organizations relate to seeking reparations.

Likewise, Fernández, the head of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), expressed his interest in the new Colombian president “to have dialogue and identify common interests to achieve the plans that will create the next cooperation program.” That is, “a road map that reflects the interests of teamwork.”

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The President highlighted the importance of expanding and diversifying the economic and bilateral relationship “in sectors such as food, automobile, agricultural machinery and pharmaceutical industry, as well as cultural industries and services”. Also: The issue of climate change and renewable energy is one of the promises of Colombia’s incoming government’s green agenda.

Fernández and Pedro agreed that Latin America should integrate to strengthen organizations such as CELAC, as well as bring Colombia closer to Mercosur. The two discussed the implications of the war in Ukraine and the pandemic in the crisis in the region.

For decades, Colombia has been ruled by a right wing that maintains a foreign policy strongly aligned with the United States. For years, the North funded Project Colombia to fight drug trafficking and insurgency. After the peace accords in Havana, Washington supported Bogotá under the name Pas Colombia.

Fernández was optimistic about this new environment opening up with Pedro’s investment. “We need an active Colombia on the path of Latin American integration.” Part of that is certainly reestablishing ties between Colombia and Venezuela after years of estrangement between the two countries, which share a 2,200-kilometer border.

Fernandez invited the new Colombian president to make an official visit to Argentina in the coming months. The CELAC Foreign Ministers’ Meeting will be held in October and the Presidents’ Summit in December.

The meeting at the Palacio de San Carlos was attended by Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiro and Ambassador Gustavo Tzugala. Alvaro Leyva Duran, the new foreign minister for Colombia; and his deputy Francisco Cai.

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On Saturday, Fernandez held bilateral meetings with Xiomara Castro of Honduras and Luis Arce of Bolivia. In addition, he participated in a meeting with the Puebla Group, which was attended by former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff; and former presidents of Colombia, Ernesto Chambers, and Paraguay, Fernando Lugo. Today, Colombia joins a new progressive wave in the region.