JIS News

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  • President of the Republic of Colombia, His Excellency Juan Manuel Santos Calderon, says he hopes to improve the relationship between his country and Jamaica, particularly as it relates to the joint exploration for oil and gas and the fight against narcotics and terrorism
  • President Santos, who arrived at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston this morning (November 19, 2010) for a one-day State Visit, said there is a great need to strengthen Jamaica and Colombia's connection in the areas of trade and national security, as well as on matters of the environment.
  • President of the Republic of Colombia, His Excellency Juan Manuel Santos Calderon, inspects the colourful Guard of Honour formed by the Jamaica Defence Force on his arrival at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston on Friday (November 19) for a one-day State Visit.

President of the Republic of Colombia, His Excellency Juan Manuel Santos Calderon, says he hopes to improve the relationship between his country and Jamaica, particularly as it relates to the joint exploration for oil and gas and the fight against narcotics and terrorism.
President Santos, who arrived at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston this morning (November 19, 2010) for a one-day State Visit, said there is a great need to strengthen Jamaica and Colombia’s connection in the areas of trade and national security, as well as on matters of the environment.

Governor General of Jamaica, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen (right), welcomes President of the Republic of Colombia, His Excellency Juan Manuel Santos Calderon (left), on his arrival at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston on Friday (November 19, 2010) for a one-day State Visit.

“We have a good relation with Jamaica, but I think we can improve that relationship very much,” the President told journalists in a brief interview on the airport tarmac. “I look forward to the meetings I have with the Prime Minister and the Jamaican Government. My objective is to have a closer and more fruitful relationship from now on,” he said.
The President, who said he was very happy to be in the island, remarked that he viewed Jamaica as one of the most important countries in the Caribbean. He stated that Jamaica and Colombia shared many common goals and that his country’s relationship with Jamaica and the wider Caribbean is strategically important.
“We have more than 800 kilometres of maritime border with Jamaica and we have many common objectives,” Mr. Santos added. “I am very grateful for the Prime Minister who was at my inauguration and invited me to this visit.”
President Santos was greeted with much fanfare, accompanied by a symbolic 21 gun salute from the Jamaica Defence Force artillery on his arrival at the airport.

He was met at the steps of his aircraft by Governor General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, who then introduced the Colombian President to Prime Minister, Hon. Bruce Golding; Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Antony Anderson; and the Commissioner of Police, Owen Ellington.
After taking the Royal Salute and inspecting the colourful Guard of Honour formed by the JDF, President Santos was introduced by Mr. Golding to: members of the Cabinet; Leader of the Opposition, Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller; President of the Senate, Oswald Harding; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Delroy Chuck; Chief Justice, Zailia McCalla; President of the Court of Appeal, Seymour Panton; Cabinet Secretary, Douglas Saunders; His Worship the Mayor of Kingston and St. Andrew, Desmond McKenzie; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Evadne Coye; and Permanent Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister, Onika Miller.
President Santos also introduced members of his delegation to Sir Patrick and Mr. Golding.

President of the Republic of Colombia, His Excellency Juan Manuel Santos Calderon, inspects the colourful Guard of Honour formed by the Jamaica Defence Force on his arrival at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston on Friday (November 19) for a one-day State Visit.

The official party then travelled to National Heroes Circle for a wreath-laying ceremony at the statue of South American liberator, Simon Bolivar. Bolivar, a Venezuelan military and political leader, played a key role in Hispanic America’s successful struggle for independence from Spain.
The President was met at the venue by Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange; Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Marlene Malahoo Forte; and Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Senator Warren Newby.
He was also warmly greeted by a large number of students, who left their classrooms to line the sidewalks as he arrived at National Hero’s Circle.
Before departing the island tonight, the President will hold bilateral talks with the Prime Minister at Jamaica House, and pay courtesy calls on the Governor General and Leader of the Opposition.
He will also address the University of the West Indies (UWI) community, where he will be met by Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness; UWI Principal, Professor Gordon Shirley; and Vice Chancellor, Professor Nigel Harris.
Jamaica and Colombia established diplomatic relations on February 24, 1965. The South American country has been an important partner at several levels: multilaterally, in the context of the G-77 and China on development-related issues; regionally, in relation to the thrust to develop a greater partnership with Latin America; and bilaterally, in relation to direct co-operation between the two countries.
President Santos was elected President of Colombia in June, 2010. He is a politician, journalist and an economist. He is from one of Colombia’s most influential families. His great-uncle, Eduardo Santos, was Colombia’s President, 1938 to 1942, and owned the country’s largest newspaper, El Tiempo. His cousin, Francisco Santos, is the current Vice-President.
In 1991 he occupied the post of Foreign Trade Minister. In 1992 he was appointed President of the VII United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, a position he held for four years. He also became the President for the Economic Commission on Latin America, a position he held until 1995. In 2000, he was appointed Minister of the Treasury and Public Credit.
During his tenure as Defense Minister, 2006 to 2009, the administration dealt serious blows to the FARC guerrilla group, including the non-violent rescue of former presidential candidate, Ingrid Betancourt, who had been held captive since 2002, and 14 other hostages.