BOGOTA – Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Guatemalan counterpart Jimmy Morales agreed on Friday to accelerate negotiations on a trade treaty and to expand cooperate in military matters.
After a meeting with Colombian businessmen, Morales was received with full honors by Santos at the presidential palace.
During a subsequent joint press conference, Morales said that “God willing,” the proposed trade accord will be ready for signature within a few weeks.
“There has been great interest by Colombian companies to invest in Guatemala lately,” Santos said, pointing also to an increase in bilateral trade.
Morales told Santos that Guatemala wishes to purchase military vessel from Colombia’s state-owned Cotecmar, which has provided similar craft to other Latin American countries, such as Brazil and Honduras.
Guatemala is happy to see the technological progress Colombia has made in building ships and other tools that are of use in the fight against transnational crime and other “emerging threats,” Morales said.
Santos said that the purchase of the vessels could be financed with help from “the United States, a country interested in Guatemala increasing and improving its capabilities in the fight against drugs and organized crime.”
The Colombian president deemed the meeting “very constructive and important.”