Photo: Colombian President Gustavo Petro and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken shake hands after a press conference in Casa de Nariño on Monday, October 3. Source: AP Foto/Esteban Félix, Pool.
On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Colombian President Gustavo Petro, Vice President Francia Márquez, and Foreign Minister Álvaro Leyva at the Casa de Nariño as the first stop on his week-long trip to Colombia, Chile, and Peru. After the meetings, Blinken affirmed, “We’ve been listening to each other, and we’re learning from one another.” He signed the Ethnic Chapter of Colombia’s Peace Accord to uphold Afro-Colombian and Indigenous people’s rights, making the U.S. as the first international accompanier for that chapter of the 2016 Peace Accords. Also on Monday, Petro reiterated his criticism of the United States’ decision to continue including Cuba on the list of states that back terrorism, saying it is “an injustice” given Cuba’s role in the ELN peace talks.
On Wednesday, Blinken met with Chilean President Gabriel Boric and Foreign Minister Antonia Urrejola at the Casa de Moneda in Santiago. They both stressed the importance of bilateral cooperation to strengthen democracy, further trade-investment ties, and commit to carbon neutrality by 2050. On Thursday, Secretary Blinken led the U.S. delegation at the fifty-second Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly in Lima, Peru, where he engaged regional leaders on shared priorities, such as protecting human rights and safeguarding democracy. He also met with Peruvian President Pedro Castillo and Foreign Minister César Landa to discuss economic development, democratic governance, drug trafficking, and immigration. Blinken later announced the United States would provide USD $240 million in new humanitarian assistance to help meet the needs of refugees and migrants across the Western Hemisphere.