BOGOTA – Colombia and the United States agreed on Thursday to expand their antinarcotics collaboration with the aim of cutting the Andean nation’s cocaine production in half by 2023, the No. 3 official in the State Department said.
At the closing of the seventh U.S.-Colombia High-Level Partnership Dialogue in Bogota, Thomas Shannon said that the commitment included the implementation of a national comprehensive antinarcotics strategy.
This issue had already been discussed by the two countries after is was revealed that output of coca – the raw material of cocaine – had grown in 2016, prompting US President Donald Trump to threaten to “decertify” Colombia’s efforts against drug trafficking.
Since Trump’s January 2017 inauguration, the US has demanded that Colombia do everything possible to fight drug trafficking and warned of possible “bilateral political problems” if the South American nation fails to stop the expansion of coca plantations.
After Thursday’s meeting, Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin said that the two countries work in “close collaboration in the fight” against transnational criminal organizations.
She thanked Washington for its financial support to Colombia and said that the two countries have worked together in Central America “with positive results.”