Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton held a bilateral meeting with Colombian Vice President Angelino Garzon at the Department of State on January 28, 2011. Secretary Clinton and Vice President Garzon discussed a variety of issues, and reaffirmed the resilient, enduring partnership and friendship between the United States and Colombia.
Secretary Clinton first expressed her support on behalf of the United States to the victims of the recent mining tragedy and floods in Colombia. She said, "...I would like the people of Colombia to know they are in the thoughts and prayers of all Americans not just for the mining tragedy, but for the terrible flooding that in the past two months has claimed more than 300 lives, affected more than two million people and incurred billions of dollars in reconstruction and clean-up costs."
Regarding the U.S.-Colombia relationship, the Secretary said, "We share common values and a respect for democratic governance, the rule of law, and self-determination. And the United States has stood with Colombia for more than a decade as they take on security challenges. We've made considerable progress together, but we have more work to do on security and other issues. That is why we are hosting the second round of the U.S.-Colombia High Level Partnership Dialogue in March, where we will cover so many of these issues. We are committed to a very broad discussion of issues, from sustainable energy to human rights. And as President Obama said in his State of the Union address, we are committed to a successful conclusion and ratification of the U.S.-Colombia Trade Agreement. And I look forward to working with the vice president and members of the Colombian Government to bring that result about.
"I also commended the vice president and the Santos administration for the progress that is being made on resolving long-term disputes having to do with displaced people in the country and reaching out to civil society to add their voices to a national conversation about human rights and labor rights. And I want to thank Colombia for their assistance to other countries in the fight against drug traffickers and criminal organizations, their assistance to the people of Haiti and of Afghanistan and in so many ways the leadership that Colombia is showing in helping to solve difficult issues."
You can read the Secretary's complete remarks here.