Colombian President-elect Juan Manuel Santos announced on Friday that a group of former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair’s consultants will come to Colombia to advise his incoming administration on foreign policy, EPA reports.
“Now that Colombia has solved problems such as narco-trafficking, guerrillas and paramilitaries, we can take on a much more proactive stance in regards to international affairs,” Santos said, adding that “the experience of former leaders like Tony Blair can be very useful.”
Santos, who kicked off an international tour in England on Thursday, said that in addition to being friends for years, he and Blair also share a belief in the “Third Way,” a centrist political position combining conservative free-market capitalism with liberal democratic social policies.
According to Santos, this political doctrine is “more applicable now than ever, following the [global financial] crisis.”
Santos described the centrist doctrine as “The market whenever possible, the government when necessary,” and noted that one of the key challenges for his administration will be combating poverty and unemployment.
Santos’ relationship with Blair dates back to 1999, when the Colombian politician worked with the then-U.K. leader on book called “The Third Way: An Alternative for Colombia.”
Santos is expected to meet with current U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday. In addition to visiting the U.K., Santos will also reportedly visit Germany, Spain, France, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Chile and Peru, in an effort to to strengthen Colombian relations with these countries prior to becoming president on August 7.