“Our countries are a long way from each other, but we are united by a close partnership and a strong will to tackle global challenges together,” said Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the end of a meeting with Colombian President Gustavo Francisco Petro Urrego at the Chancellery.
Germany has maintained diplomatic relations with Colombia since 1953. Friendly and increasingly close relations have existed between the two countries ever since, not least maintained through political dialogue, German business, science, culture and development cooperation.
A small miracle thanks to perseverance and courage
The Federal Chancellor recalled “a small miracle” in which four children were found alive 40 days into the search after a plane crashed in the Colombian rainforest. Turning to President Petro, Scholz said: “I want to say how pleased we all are at the happy ending to this story. It’s a striking example of how worthwhile it can be to pursue a cause with perseverance and courage – even when the prospects of success may not be obvious.”
The peace process in Colombia was a focal point of the talks between the two heads of government. After decades of conflict in Colombia, said Scholz, the latest news that a ceasefire can be signed between the government and the ELN guerilla group was a sign of hope. “The peace process is still a long way from achieving its goal, of course, but it is well on its way. As I said, perseverance can pay off.” The Federal Government had long supported this peace process and would continue to do so, said the Federal Chancellor.
Pursuing more in-depth bilateral cooperation on energy and climate
Colombia, the Federal Chancellor continued, is “an important partner and a remarkable pioneer” in the area of biodiversity and climate action. To this end, the Federal Chancellor and the President signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the aim of establishing a bilateral energy partnership.
“Together we want to stand up for biodiversity and forest protection, and for ambitious climate targets, too. Our aim is to promote the expansion of wind power and solar energy while at the same time increasing energy efficiency,” said Scholz. In addition, there will be dialogue on how a socially just phase-out of the use of coal might succeed.
In addition to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and its political and economic consequences, Scholz and Petro also discussed the upcoming EU summit with the countries of CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States). In mid-July, the EU and the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean are due to meet in Brussels to discuss climate protection and trade issues. “I look forward to seeing you again,” says Scholz.