Both countries hope that the visit will strengthen the relationship, especially in the economic and commercial sphere
MADRID, 1 May. (EUROPA PRESS) -
The Colombian President, Gustavo Petro, will begin a state visit to Spain this Wednesday, in which he will be received by King Felipe VI and by the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, and with which the two countries aspire to further deepen the which is already a rich bilateral relationship.
Petro will star in the only State visit to Spain this year, a sign of the importance that the Government attaches to Colombia, a country with which there is a strategic association and for which Spain is the second investment partner behind the United States, have highlighted government sources.
There is harmony with Colombia on many issues, such as the green and digital transition or the need for reindustrialization, something that was already evident with the visit that Sánchez made to Bogotá last August, weeks after Petro took office.
Now, the will of the Government, as explained by Moncloa, is to continue strengthening the economic and commercial relationship, particularly in areas such as connectivity or rail, in which Colombia is interested in advancing and in which Spain can contribute experience .
Likewise, from Moncloa they highlight the important business presence in this country, as well as the will to permanence of Spanish companies, and they value the interest on the part of Colombia in strengthening these ties as well.
In this sense, Colombian diplomatic sources explain that Petro is particularly interested in attracting private investment for the energy transition towards cleaner sources that it wants to undertake in the country and believes that Spain, through its leadership in this area, could help the country move towards an energy model away from hydrocarbons.
Likewise, Colombia believes that Spanish companies could participate in the infrastructure development plan that the country is going to undertake, while also looking for ways to promote itself as a sustainable tourism destination between Spaniards and Europeans through alliances and strategic agreements.
Among the topics to be discussed, the migration issue is also on the agenda, since both Colombia and Spain are receiving countries. Both countries share their interest in guaranteeing legal and safe paths for migration, which is why both plan to participate in a new program that the United States is preparing to install regional centers in which to process migrants and refugees for their transfer to other countries, among those who will be Spain.
On the other hand, Sánchez will take the opportunity to convey to Petro the government's support for the extensive reforms that the president is undertaking in the country. The last of these, that of health, has been followed by a profound remodeling of the cabinet with the departure of several ministers from some of the parties that support his coalition. In Moncloa, they avoid ruling on a matter that they consider internal and ensure that in no case will these changes affect the visit.
Likewise, the president will also reiterate his support for the peace negotiations with the National Liberation Army (ELN), a process in which Spain has assumed the role of accompanying country and for which the Government is expected to designate a representative, whose identity has not yet been revealed.
In another order of things, the visit will also allow Sánchez and Petro to talk about the next rotating Presidency of the EU in the second semester, in which Spain wants to give priority to the relationship with Latin America, and to discuss more specifically the summit between the block and CELAC that will take place in July in Brussels, one of the milestones of the Spanish semester.
Likewise, the two presidents will have the opportunity to address issues on the international agenda, such as the war in Ukraine or the political crisis in Venezuela, an issue in which Petro has been very active and last week in Bogotá hosted a meeting with a twenty countries to try to unblock the dialogue between the government and the opposition with a view to holding free and democratic elections in 2024.
The Colombian president will arrive in Madrid on Tuesday, although the official agenda for his visit will not start until Wednesday and will do so with the traditional official reception with military honors at the Royal Palace by the King and Queen. Felipe VI will also hold a meeting with Petro, already at the Palacio de la Zarzuela, after which the King and Queen will offer lunch to the president and the first lady, Verónica Alcocer.
Late in the afternoon, the King and Queen will offer a gala dinner in the Royal Palace in honor of Petro, which will be attended by the Prime Minister, several ministers as well as the main State authorities and representatives of the business world and culture that have a particular relationship with Colombia.
That day, Petro also plans to go to the Congress of Deputies, where he will speak before deputies and senators in a joint session, in which Vox will not be present, which has advanced its boycott of the act, as well as the Madrid City Council, where the mayor, José Luis Martínez Almeida, will give him the golden key to the city.
Already on Thursday, the day will begin with a business meeting organized by the CEOE, which will be followed by his meeting in Moncloa with Sánchez, in which various ministers from both parties will participate and various agreements and memorandums of understanding will be signed. The President of the Government also plans to offer a lunch to the Colombian president and his delegation, to which other personalities from the world of politics, economy and culture will be invited.
The Colombian president has scheduled a meeting with Colombians residing in Spain on Tuesday outside the official agenda, as well as the inauguration of the Gabriel García Márquez Cultural Center at the Colombian Embassy in Madrid and on Friday he will travel to Salamanca, where he will receive the medal of the University of this city, where the president studied.