The President of Colombia, Ivan Duque, has started his official visit to Spain this Thursday with his wife, Maria Juliana Ruiz. After a meeting with King Felipe VI early in the morning at the Palacio de la Zarzuela and after his visit to Pedro Sánchez in La Moncloa, the Kings offered a lunch in his honor at the Royal Palace of Madrid, to which Some 70 guests have attended, personalities from the world of culture and business from both Spain and Colombia.
The gala dining room of the Royal Palace has been distributed in round tables for between six and seven guests. Before starting lunch, King Felipe expressed his joy and that of the Queen Letizia for “retaking” Duque’s visit, which the pandemic forced them to postpone.
The King recalled that the ties between Colombia and Spain “start from a shared history of three centuries, which were decisive in forging identities and the rich culture of our peoples.” He wanted to highlight that “we are currently experiencing a very complex situation” due to the pandemic and, therefore, he wanted to celebrate that Spain “has been able to specify its support for Colombia with the donation of more than a million vaccines against Covid-19, which we hope will help accelerate the end of the socio-health crisis in this beloved country.
Don Felipe also mentioned in his speech the ties that exist between Spain and Colombia, which go far beyond the shared history of both countries and which passes, above all, through cultural and creative ties. Something that proves this year’s Madrid Book Fair, where Colombia is the guest country.
“At the center of exchanges between our nations, Mr. President, are the people,” recalled the King, while referring to Colombian students who each year choose Spanish universities, or all Colombians who live and work in Spain and “The tens of thousands of Spaniards residing in Colombia.”
«We can affirm that the ties that unite us do not only look to the past, but rather are decidedly projected into the future, marking a joint path when facing the great challenges of the current global era, ”said the King. He also recalled that both countries share approaches “as important” as “The need for a green reconstruction”, renewable energies, “or equality between men and women as the north of public policies.”
Don Felipe ended his speech by referring to other values that Spain and Colombia have in common: “The determination to face the global agenda from dialogue and cooperation” and the “priority for humanitarian action.” In this sense, the King has recognized “the great admirable step that the Temporary Protection Statute has meant”, which has made Colombia a benchmark in Latin America. This statute responds to the need to welcome Venezuelans who cross the border of their country into Colombia. “It is a determined and courageous bet for the dignity and rights of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants that Spain recognizes and supports,” the King stressed.
In this sense, the King has valued the cooperation on the part of Spain, which acts today “in the most disadvantaged areas of Colombia, engaging in the development of communities, in the well-being of refugees and migrants, or in the comprehensive application of the Peace Accords ».
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism