Colombia is “key in the hemisphere” as a nation set to contribute more to global challenges as an indispensable ally for the United Stets, according to US Vice President Joe Biden.
The US vice president recognized achievements in the developing peace negotiations claiming that a western hemisphere which is “full and free and democratic and secure” is now within reach. Adding that a Colombia in peace will be poised for success in the absence of fear of war.
President Santos on Thursday was recognized with the Global Citizen Award, a distinction that according to the Atlantic Council “recognizes individuals who capture the essence of ‘Global Citizen’ through their professional achievements and personal contributions to the improvement of the current global situation”. Biden acknowledged the achievement of President Santos through his career and today in his leadership of a country approaching peace.
“The idea of peace in Colombia was almost unthinkable 15 years ago. The fact that Colombia has come so far in such a short time and in the face of so many obstacles, it is a testament to the commitment of its leaders and the resilience of its people, “said Vice President Biden.
Santos and FARC leader “Timochenko” last week announced that they plan to sign a definite peace agreement within six months, which would end more than half a century of violence between the leftist rebels and the Colombian state.
Peace talks have been ongoing since November 2012 and have so far led to agreements on a far-stretching rural reform, an amplification of the political participation of the FARC and other leftist organizations, the FARC’s abandoning of drug trafficking, and transitional justice for the tens of thousands of war crimes committed by both parties.
The vice president reaffirmed commitment to the peace negotiations in this current stage and a post-conflict Colombia and stressed the importance of free trade between the countries, adding that a Colombia in peace could achieve unlimited amounts in partnering with the US.
Already Biden noted that much has been achieved in Colombia through support of the country. “With our FTA, Colombia trade has grown more than 40 million dollars a year and there is no reason why that cannot double or triple if Colombia achieves this peace agreement.”
This reflection came the same day that the two parties attended an announcement of US Secretary John Kerry who reported that at the expiration of “Plan Colombia” an initiative funding the war against drug trafficking in Colombia financial support will now be used for peace building in the event the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos signs peace with FARC rebels.
This decision has come as President Santos closes his eight day visit to the United States, after attending some 30 meetings garnering both political and economical global support. The Colombian President returned his country claiming to be “very satisfied.”
Further evidence of this global support has been seen in the announcement of the European Union appointing an envoy for the peace process.
The chief diplomat of the European Union, Feredica Mogherini said that “if any conflict in the world can be finished, is Colombia.”