In a phone conversation with Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry emphasized U.S. support for Colombia. The Secretary of State said the United States is committed to securing “democratic peace and prosperity for all Colombians,” according to the US State Department.
Kerry said he supported Santos efforts towards establishing unity and peace. 220,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in a 52-year war between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Santos has been attempting to deal with the consequences after a long-hoped for peace deal with the FARC rebels fell through in a shock this week.
The State Department said Kerry “acknowledged that difficult decisions lie ahead for Colombia, and welcomed the statements by Senator Alvaro Uribe and FARC leader Rodrigo Londoño reaffirming their commitment to peace and openness to dialogue.”
Diplomatic relations between the US and Colombia were established in 1822, after the latter gained independence from Spain. The State Department notes that the United States and Colombia have “signed agreements on trade, environmental protection, asset sharing, chemical control, ship-boarding, renewable and clean energy, science and technology, and civil aviation.”