BUENOS AIRES – Colombian President Ivan Duque started on Sunday his official visit to Argentina with a dinner hosted by President Mauricio Macri, officials said.
Duque arrived Sunday afternoon with his wife Maria Juliana Ruiz ahead of an intensive agenda scheduled for Monday on his first trip to Argentina, which will include a bilateral meeting with Macri in the Casa Rosada, seat of the Argentine government.
The private dinner hosted by Macri and his wife Juliana Awada was held in the presidential residence in the town of Olivos in Buenos Aires province.
The Argentine presidency released a photograph in which both couples are seen posing.
As part of Duque’s agenda, there will be a breakfast on Monday with Argentine businessmen in a hotel in the exclusive neighborhood of Recoleta, where he will also be named an illustrious visitor to the city.
Duque is then expected to lead the traditional floral offering to the monument of General Jose de San Martin, a hero considered to be the father of Argentina.
In Casa Rosada after the official greeting with Macri, both leaders will hold a meeting in the presidential office attended by ministers of the two governments, sign bilateral agreements and make a statement to the press.
Finally, the Macris will offer lunch in honor of the Duques in the Casa Rosada Museum.
To finish the visit to Buenos Aires, Duque will participate in a talk about the “Orange Economy,” referring to creative industries, accompanied by Argentine Minister of Culture Pablo Avelluto.
It is also expected that Duque will visit the iconic bookstore Ateneo Grand Splendid – named the most beautiful in the world by National Geographic – in a private capacity, before returning to Colombia.
Although the topics of bilateral talks with Macri were not given out in detail, the Venezuelan crisis is expected to be addressed, since both Argentina and Colombia belong to the Lima Group, as well as other aspects of economy and trade.
Since he rose to power in December 2015, Macri has opted to move towards an integration agreement between Mercosur South American trade bloc – integrated by Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay – and the Pacific Alliance formed by Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Chile.
Macri was one of the leaders who visited Bogota in August to attend the presidential inauguration of Duque with whom he then took the time to hold his first meeting.
At that meeting, both politicians pledged to continue strengthening bilateral friendship and cooperation which historically unites the two countries and analyzed issues related to the trade and sale of Argentinian products, particularly in the agro-industrial segment, and the evolution in aerial connectivity.
The last time they met was at the end of March in Chile, when they were called by Chilean President Sebastian Piñera, together with the heads of Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru, to establish the Prosur (Forum for the Progress and Development of South America), a regional organization with that seeks to replace the UNASUR (Union of South American Nations).