U.S. President Barack Obama and his Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos will discuss the drug problem facing Central America in a bilateral meeting that will mark the end of next month’s Summit of the Americas.
In a meeting with foreign journalists, Colombian Foreign Affairs Minister Maria Angela Holguin said that drug trafficking between the two countries will be on the agenda in a meeting following the April 14-15 summit, being held in Colombia’s Caribbean coastal city of Cartagena.
With funds from Plan Colombia, a US backed initiative to combat drug production which has been providing aid to Colombia for over a decade, steadily declining, Holguin proposed a new approach that would include providing aid to other countries in the region.
“The United States has asked us to join efforts for Central America, this is one of the topics the presidents will discuss,” said Holguin.
U.S. officials said they are willing to listen to the debate on drug legalization at the summit, a position that President Santos has encouraged, although Coordinator for the Summit of the Americas for the U.S. State Department John Feeley said “for us, frankly, legalization is not the solution.”