Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Wednesday asked Colombian President Alvaro Uribe to strengthen ties between their two nations, when the heads of state attended the inauguration cermnony of a third set of locks at the Panama Canal.
Colombian Presidential Press Secretary Cesar Mauricio Velasquez told Efe that Berlusconi had invited Uribe “to strengthen these commercial, financial and political relations much more” between their nations.
Velasquez said said Berlusconi and Uribe had discussed developing economic ties, and both considered that “the terrain is very fertile to continue advancing [Colombia’s] FTA with the European Union.”
The press secretary said that Uribe had expressed gratitude for Italy’s support in the FTA and had thanked Berlusconi for “Italy’s efforts, support, collaboration and understanding with Colombia.”
Colombia, along with Peru, signed an FTA with the European Union on May 19 of this year, however it may take up to one and a half years for the European Parliament to ratify the economic pact.
On August 7 Uribe will hand the Casa de Nariño over to President-elect Juan Manuel Santos.