Colombian Vice President Angelino Garzon on Tuesday met with European Union (E.U.) representatives to discuss the body’s pending free trade agreement with Colombia.
The agreement, which was signed on May 13, needs to be ratified and win majority approval in the European Parliament.
“For Europe, Colombia is a strategic partner and the interest is to consolidate the trade agreement with this country,” European Trade Commissioner Karel De Gutch told the vice president.
NGOs and members of the European Parliament have raised doubts about the trade agreement due to Colombia’s human rights record.
“We want to consolidate ourselves as an example for the region in respecting human rights and international humanitarian law. We are also friends of trade agreements and are grateful for the political groups who support us, because without doubt this type of trade agreement will improve living conditions in recipient countries,” Garzon said.
The president of the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly, Ignacio Salafranca, said that Colombia’s potential is well-known and that the deal will gain a majority of votes in the parliament.