United States and Colombia negotiating free trade agreement

WASHINGTON, DC — President George W. Bush welcomed Colombian President Alvaro Uribe to the Oval Office Wednesday, June 14, 2006. “This is my first chance to be able to congratulate the President for a very strong victory. He was obviously a good campaigner that had a message that the Colombian people appreciated. So first of all, congratulations for a grand victory,” said Bush.

President Bush added, “we negotiated a free trade agreement. We’ve still got some details to work out, but we committed ourselves to working out those details and try to get this done as quickly as we can. I will submit the agreement to Congress once it gets done, and I would hope members of both political parties understand the importance of a free trade agreement with this vital ally of ours.”

President Uribe, said “I want to repeat my gratitude to your government, to you personally, to your Congress, to the U.S. public opinion, for the permanent support of my country. One challenge is that Colombia can overcome this long nightmare of terrorism.

I understand the mandate my fellow country citizens have given me to work harder, and with better results, for my country to get peace, and the United States cooperation is necessary. In the last two years we have not gotten the expected result in dropping the areas with illegal drugs, we need to show better results in this area.”

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