November 30, 2022

The White Space on Thursday mentioned it intends to designate Colombia as a significant non-NATO best friend in a strategic partnership aimed toward strengthening safety, finishing the COVID-19 pandemic and addressing local weather trade. President Iván Duque Márquez of Colombia celebrated the transfer, pronouncing that this can be a “crucial diplomatic success.”

“This indicates crucial popularity of the significance that we have got constructed through the years,” Duque advised CBS Information senior White Space and political correspondent Ed O’Keefe. “This will likely permit Colombia to have get entry to to funding and business and safety in issues that can support our dating and give protection to Colombia.”

The designation will upload Colombia to a rising checklist of greater than a dozen primary non-NATO best friend international locations, and can supply positive protection business and safety cooperation privileges to Colombia, consistent with the U.S. Division of State. 

The White Space mentioned it made the designation because of “Colombia’s vital contributions as a NATO International Spouse, its dedication to NATO’s venture to advertise democratic values and dedication to the non violent solution of disputes, and its rejection of Russia’s unprovoked and unjustifiable aggression in opposition to Ukraine.”

Duque, who met with President Biden on the White Space Thursday, mentioned the transfer will permit Colombia to obtain further beef up in spaces together with local weather motion and refugee coverage as the rustic offers with “probably the most complicated migration disaster in Latin The usa in fresh historical past.”

He known as his assembly with Mr. Biden “clear” and “open.”

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In a joint commentary Thursday, the 2 leaders mentioned that the 2 international locations have “known the will for our governments to reveal that democracy can ship to reinforce the lives of our voters.”

Colombia’s president mentioned neighboring nation Venezuela — certainly one of Russia’s best allies in Latin The usa — must go back to democracy. He known as the rustic’s president, Nicolás Maduro, a dictator.

“Venezuela wishes to interact that trail, differently the tragedy that they’re dwelling goes to proceed,” he mentioned relating to a democratic transition.

Mr. Biden and Duque additionally mentioned they have got agreed to prioritize investments in tasks occupied with spaces together with gender fairness and virtual connectivity, dedicated themselves to “increasing longstanding bilateral safety cooperation” and can proceed efforts to finish the COVID-19 pandemic.