Bogota: The UAE and Colombia have signed an agreement on the mutual exemption of prior visa requirements for ordinary passport holders from both countries.
The agreement was signed by Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Luz Stella Jara Portilla, Vice Minister of Foreign Relations of Colombia, following their meeting here as part of Sheikh Abdullah’s current visit to Colombia.
The meeting, which included a business luncheon in the honour of the UAE top diplomat, addressed the prospects for accelerating bilateral relations in addition to an array of regional and international issues of common concern.
At the end of the meeting, Sheikh Abdullah held a joint news conference with the Vice Minister of Foreign Relations, where he said that relations between the two countries are steadily growing at all fronts, including trade, investment and cultural ties.
“Our relations could expand further to include cooperation in the fields of food security, services and tourism,” Sheikh Abdullah said, affirming the UAE’s solidarity with Colombia against all forms of terrorism, and extremism.
He noted that the UAE early last month condemned the suicide attack that happened at the General Santander Police Academy in the Colombian capital, Bogota, which left scores of people either dead or injured.
He noted that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation recently hosted a Spanish-language teaching programme, which was provided by the Colombian government for the ministry’s employees in coordination with Universidad del Rosario, extending thanks to all Colombian departments that contributed to the programme.
Sheikh Abdullah also affirmed the UAE support for Colombia’s confirmed participation in EXPO 2020 Dubai.
“There are 4000 Colombians living in the UAE and actively contributing to the country’s economic development drive,” Sheikh Abdullah added. For her part, the Colombian Vice Minister of Foreign relations hailed the visit of Sheikh Abdullah and underlined its importance in fostering bilateral relations.
She appreciated the UAE’s keenness to advance cooperation to the best interest of the two friendly peoples.
Attending the meeting was Salem Rashid Al Oueiss, the UAE Ambassador to Colombia.
Earlier in the day, Sheikh Abdullah and his accompanying delegation were received by the President of Colombia, Ivan Duque Marquez.
Both leaders held talks which addressed prospects for fostering bilateral relations across all fronts, primarily in the fields of politics, economy, trade, renewable energy, and food security.
The Colombian president and Sheikh Abdullah exchanged views over a number of regional and international issues of common interest, with the UAE top diplomat conveying wishes for further progress and prosperity to Colombia from President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Abdullah opened the premises of the UAE Embassy in Bogota on the sidelines of his ongoing official visit to Colombia.
Sheikh Abdullah also met the Speaker for the Colombian Senate, Ernesto Macias Tovar, as part of his current official visit to Colombia.
The Colombian leader relayed his greetings to UAE leaders and underlined the importance of the visit in advancing cooperation to the higher good of both countries.
Sheikh Abdullah underscored the UAE’s keenness to consolidating bonds between the two countries to the common good of their peoples.
“The opening of the embassy translates the UAE’s keenness to boost prospects of cooperation with Colombia across different fields,” said Sheikh Abdullah after cutting the ribbon and raising the curtain, inaugurating the new premises of the embassy in the presence of a number of senior Colombian officials.
The deputy foreign minister of Colombia, who attended the inauguration, stressed that the opening of the embassy is a step forward on the path to bolstering the steadily growing relations between the two friendly nations.
Attending the meetings were Salem Rashid Al Oueiss, the UAE Ambassador to Colombia, and a number of Colombian ministers.