BOGOTA – Colombian President Ivan Duque, who took office Aug. 7, received US Defense Secretary James Mattis on Friday.
After calling the meeting “productive,” Duque said via Twitter he had “discussed issues related to security in the hemisphere and the strengthening of our bilateral relations.”
Although no further details have been provided regarding the conversation, Mattis said Thursday that the main motive for his presence in Colombia was “to listen.”
Mattis said one of the issues that would be brought up in his meeting with Duque is the “tragic situation in Venezuela,” with the goal of discussing how Washington could help Colombia face the recent wave of Venezuelan immigrants.
Pentagon sources told EFE that two other issues that may be discussed are the peace process in Colombia and Bogota’s role as a NATO “global partner.”
Mattis is also expected to meet with his Colombian counterpart Guillermo Botero to address issues related to military cooperation and the new challenges that the Colombian armed forces will face now that the 52-year-old armed conflict with the leftist FARC rebels has ended.
Mattis’s official visit to Colombia is the last stop on his South American tour that earlier took him to Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires and Santiago.