MADRID – Spain’s King Felipe VI on Monday assured Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos that he can rely on “the full support of Spain” in the “noble proposition” of achieving peace in the South American country.
Felipe made this commitment to Colombia’s efforts to strike a peace accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, guerrillas in a speech he delivered at the gala dinner held for Santos in the Royal Palace in Madrid during his state visit.
Accompanied by Queen Letizia and speaking before about 100 invited guests from various institutions, as well as Spain’s political, economic and social sectors, including Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, the monarch said that the progress in the dialogue under way for the past two years in Cuba was “very encouraging.”
“We are certain that the determination and courage with which you are pursuing the objective – so basic and unavoidable – for the Colombian people to be able to live in harmony and concord, will result in achieving a Colombia at peace,” declared Felipe.
Meanwhile, Santos said that his state visit was aimed – besides reinforcing and consolidating the “excellent” state of bilateral relations – at thanking Spain for its support for the peace process.
“Spain is a nation that has always been by our side, always supporting us, always accompanying us,” said Santos, who added that the peace that was felt to be impossible 12 years ago “we now see as a real and true possibility.”
He also emphasized that Spain has contributed to setting up the European Union fund for the “post-conflict” setting in Colombia.
“Everything unites us with Spain, nothing separates us,” concluded the Colombian leader, who traveled to Madrid along with his wife and six Cabinet ministers.
“Spain wants to move forward and deepen (cooperation) in all that improves our ability to work on common or shared projects and for our peoples to mutually move even closer,” said the monarch.
In the economic sphere, the king emphasized that just as Spain is a big investor in Colombia, “Colombian investment is and will always be welcome in our country.”