An Italian Minister of Foreign Relations visited Colombia on Thursday for the first time in 21 years for President Juan Manuel Santos’ inauguration and to pledge support for Colombia’s peace process, according to local media.
Italian Minister Federica Mogherini stated it was time to intensify and jump-start relations between Colombia and Italy. Minister Mogherini mentioned her desire to focus on increasing bilateral cooperation in energy, infrastructure, and Colombia’s peace process, according to Colombia’s El Espectador newspaper.
“It is time for new international relations based on the promotion and protection of values and goods like peace, environment, energy, and sustainable development,” said the minister.
Mogherini added, “We have seen with great admiration the sacrifices made for the peace negotiations, as well as the reforms of which the government has committed itself to.”
When asked if Italy would be interested in participating in the processes to construct a post-conflict Colombia, the Italian minister responded, “Certainly.”
According to the minister, Italy has been supporting the efforts of President Santos to put an end to the conflict by standing behind Colombia in the Organization of American States and the United Nations Mine Action Service.
Italy has also coordinated through its defense ministry, the training of special operation units of Colombia’s armed forces. The training was financed through the Italo-Latin American Institute.
“We are ready to work with post conflict [Colombia] in all the sectors that Italy can help Colombia grow and strengthen the country in a bilateral and international context,” said the Italian minister.
President Santos’ inauguration took place on Thursday with over 70 foreign delegates in attendance.
- ‘Listos para trabajar en el posconflicto colombiano’ (El Espectador)