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U.S. to Donate 2.5 Million COVID Vaccines to Colombia Following Call Between Duque and Biden

Estados Unidos donará 2,5 millones de vacunas a Colombia tras diálogo entre Duque y Biden

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The President of Colombia, Iván Duque, held his first phone conversation with his American counterpart, Joe Biden, who announced the donation to the country of 2.5 million COVID vaccines.

Duque and Biden spoke for the first time since he arrived at the White House on January 20. The two presidents reiterated the importance of the strategic alliance between the two nations, according to a statement from the Colombian Presidency.

“During the call, they spoke about economic reactivation and employment, the global agenda for climate change, shared values in terms of democracy and human rights, as well as the importance of effectively facing common threats in terms of regional security and transnational crime,” the press release added.

Additionally, “President Joe Biden announced an initial donation of 2.5 million Janssen (single-dose) vaccines for Colombians,” said the Casa de Nariño.

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Duque and Biden spoke about Venezuela

Biden also expressed to Duque his concern about the Venezuelan crisis and the impact it has had on the region, as well as “stressed the importance of seeking international consensus for free and fair elections.”

“He also recognized Colombia’s effort in offering Temporary Protection Status for Venezuelan migrants who have had to leave due to the situation in their country,” added the Presidency.

The Temporary Protection Status for migrants, which will be valid for 10 years, seeks to legally welcome those who have arrived in Colombia from Venezuela fleeing the crisis caused by the socialist system in the country and make them part of Colombian society “permanently”.

For his part, Duque invited the American president and First Lady Jill Biden to visit Colombia and thanked him for the solidarity expressed for the attack suffered last Friday by the helicopter in which he was traveling in the department of Norte de Santander, bordering Venezuela, together with two of his ministers and other officials.

Colombia is the main regional ally of the United States in defense and security matters, and the close relationship between the two countries has been marked by bipartisan support for the country both in the White House and on Capitol Hill.

“The two presidents expressed a willingness to work together on a comprehensive agenda that contributes to the security and development of the two countries and Latin America in general,” the statement said.

Reactions from Colombia’s ambassador in Washington

Despite the fact that Duque participated last April in the Climate Summit convened by Biden, which was held virtually, today’s conversation is the ‘first telephone conversation between the two leaders and comes two weeks after the appointment of Juan Carlos Pinzón as Colombia’s new ambassador to Washington.

“Dialogue between Presidents Iván Duque and Joe Biden is a sign of trust and strength in the strategic relationship between the peoples of Colombia and the United States,” said Pinzón on Twitter, who will take office on August 1, replacing Francisco Santos, who resigned.

Pinzón also thanked the donation of 2.5 million Janssen vaccines announced by Biden and recalled that “he has always supported Colombia in all difficult times”.

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