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Afghanistan and Colombia Enhance Bilateral Relations

Afghanistan’s non-resident Ambassador to Colombia Said Tayeb Jawad paid a weeklong visit to Bogota to promote bilateral relations with Colombia. Ambassador Jawad met with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe-Velez on August 7, 2006, and submitted to him a letter from President Hamid Karzai, who congratulated President Uribe on his reelection for a second-term and his inauguration.

I am happy to note that Afghanistan and Colombia are enjoying enhanced bilateral relations today. Our Minister of Counter-Narcotics, Habibullah Qaderi, led an inter-ministerial delegation to visit Bogota last year, and there is a team of Colombian police officers currently visiting Afghanistan to mentor and share their experiences with our National Interdiction Unit forces,” President Karzai wrote in his letter to President Uribe. President Uribe expressed his gratitude for the participation of Ambassador Jawad in the inauguration ceremonies on August 7, and welcomed the exchange of two significant delegations between Afghanistan and Colombia since last year.

Ambassador Jawad met with senior Colombian officials on August 8, including Foreign Minister Maria Consuelo Araujo, Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos, Director of Counter-Narcotics Police General Jorge Alirio Baron, and Presidential Adviser on Alternative Assistance Luis Alfonso Hoyos. The Ambassador discussed with them opportunities for bilateral cooperation to fight narcotics in Afghanistan, particularly requesting Colombia’s continued assistance to mentor and train Afghanistan’s counter-narcotics police.

Commenting on his visit to Colombia, Ambassador Jawad said: “I am pleased that our relations with Colombia are steadily growing. We’re grateful to the Colombian government for sending a technical delegation to Afghanistan to share their expertise with our National Interdiction Unit forces. We look forward to the continued exchange of bilateral delegations in a common effort to fight and eliminate narcotics in Afghanistan and Colombia. In doing so, our two countries need increased international cooperation to combat this transnational threat [drugs] to our security and to the security of everyone in the world.”

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