On October 9, Secretary Michael R. Pompeo opened the eighth U.S.-Colombia High Level Dialogue with Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo in Washington, D.C. The Dialogue underscored our enduring bilateral partnership rooted in shared values and interests, and focused on security, democratic governance, and economic prosperity.
The Secretary was joined by Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Keith Krach; Ambassador of the United States to Colombia Philip Goldberg; Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor (DNSA) Matthew Pottinger; Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs Mauricio Claver-Carone; Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Kirsten Madison; Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Michael Kozak; Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs Sergio de la Pena; and USAID Assistant Administrator John Barsa and Deputy Assistant Administrator Bernardo Rico. The Colombian delegation included Colombian Ambassador to the United States Francisco Santos; Deputy Minister of Defense for Policy and International Affairs Diana Abaunza; Deputy Minister of Commerce for Business Development Saul Pineda Hoyos; Armed Forces Chief General Ricardo Jimenez Mejia; Presidential Advisor for Stabilization and Consolidation Emilio Archila; and High Commissioner for Peace Miguel Ceballos.
During the Dialogue, the United States and Colombia agreed to a new joint initiative to reduce narcotics cultivation and trafficking and increase state presence and economic opportunity within strategic geographic areas, including through the establishment of a U.S.-Colombia Counternarcotics Working Group. In addition, the United States announced nearly $124 million in new International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement assistance to support integrated eradication and rural security efforts in Colombia.
The U.S. and Colombian delegations explored ways to strengthen peace implementation, including a timeline for expanded state presence in conflict-affected areas, the implementation of an accord on victims’ rights, and enhanced inclusion of ethnic minorities and women in peace accord implementation. Both parties agreed that continued adherence to, and implementation of, the peace accord are vital to achieving common security, counternarcotics, human rights, and economic development objectives. The delegations reiterated their joint position that protecting human rights and democratic institutions remains a cornerstone of the U.S.-Colombia relationship. The Colombian delegation shared updates on whole-of-government efforts to strengthen such protections and prevent violence against human rights defenders.
The United States and Colombia also discussed expanding digital economic opportunities, as well as promoting investment through fair and transparent treatment of investors. In addition, they reaffirmed their joint commitment to expanding economic opportunities for rural and underserved communities and continued cooperation on educational and citizen exchanges such as the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Initiative and the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs program in Colombia.
Secretary Pompeo commended Foreign Minister Trujillo for Colombia’s unwavering commitment to the restoration of democracy in Venezuela and its generous and humane response to the 1.4 million refugees and other displaced Venezuelans in Colombia. The delegations discussed the need to support immediate humanitarian needs and address long-term challenges among Venezuelan refugees and other displaced Venezuelans and receptor communities.