The two governments
agreed to promote exchanges and work together on research and
development, including on using sustainable biofuels, generating more
private sector investment in the technology and increasing the role of
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and
Colombian Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez signed the agreement at the
State Department in Washington ahead of a Saturday meeting between
presidents George W. Bush and Álvaro Uribe.
Rice, praising the work of Uribe again called on U.S. Congress to sign the free trade agreement between the two countries.
“This is an agreement that will benefit both sides, will benefit the American economy, it will benefit the kinds of Colombian workers that I met who are coming out of dark times of civil conflict. And in that regard, the work that President Uribe and his government have done to return democratic stability to Colombia is truly remarkable and, indeed, inspiring,” the secretary of State said.
Bermúdez added a free trade agreement between the two countries would be a blow in the face of the drug trade.
“You might be aware of the idea that the more legal economy we have, the less illegal activity we have. Every inch that we reach for investment and trade is an inch that we take away from drug activities and terrorism,” Bermúdez said.
(DPA / Colombia Reports)