Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, said on Saturday that Spain will send a request to the European Commission and its member states to drop the requirement for Colombians to get visas for short term stays.
In a phone conversation with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, Mr Rajoy expressed his wish to see Colombia “join the group of Latin American contries that have free trade agreements and do not need visas.”
Colombia’s free trade agreement with the European Union came into effect on Thursday August 1.
According to El Tiempo Mr Rajoy noted the progress that Colombia has made, citing both the peace talks with leftist guerilla group FARC and its commitment to fighting drug traffickers.
In a move that also includes dropping the EU visa requirement for Peruvians, Mr Rajoy said that “Colombians and Peruvians should be able to receive all the benefits of legal and trade liberalization. Colombia and Peru will equate well to its partners in the Pacific Alliance, Mexico, Chile and most recently, Costa Rica, which also have agreements with the European Union do not require short-term visas.”
The Colombian head of state described the announcement as “a great birthday gift for Colombia” and continued to say that “we have achieved that which nine other countries have – the removal of the visa. Colombians have every right to be proud of being Colombian anywhere in the world without a visa.”
- Presidente de España pedirá a la Unión Europea no exigir visa a los colombianos (Colombian government website)
- Conversación telefónica entre el presidente del Gobierno y los presidentes de Colombia y Perú (La Moncloa)
- ‘Europa debe retirar visado para colombianos’: Rajoy (El Tiempo)