QCOLOMBIA (MercoPress) Colombia’s President-elect Gustavo Petro and US Ambassador to Bogotá Francisco Palmieri met Monday to discuss common goals with the incoming administration which might include renegotiating the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed ten years ago between the two countries.
“Thank you president-elect @petrogustavo for a productive meeting. We look forward to working closely with the new government on our shared goals to further strengthen the ties that bind our nations and their people,” Palmieri said in a message posted on the embassy’s Twitter account.
The meeting was brokered last week by Petro’s team while the winning candidate was in Italy garnering support from former President César Gaviria’s Liberal Party.
“I asked the American government to renegotiate the FTA, since sectors such as clothing and farmers, among others, have not benefited; therefore it is urgent to renegotiate it,” wrote liberal Senator Luis Fernando Velasco on Twitter.
Upon returning from Italy, Petro fired up his Twitter feed and criticized the delay in the construction of the Bogota subway. A former mayor of the Colombian capital himself, Petro insisted that the Quito and Bogotá subways were conceived almost simultaneously but the one in the neighboring country was already operational.
The Bogotá subway is under construction and will not be available to passengers for at least another five years, it was reported.
“Bogota and Quito started their subway projects at about the same time. They finished it. The decision to suspend Bogota’s subway metro project meant that the US$7 billion it was worth, and US$14 billion in 2016, is now US$30 billion,” Petro stressed.
During his tenure as mayor, Petro structured the first line of the Bogotá metro to run underground, but his successor, Enrique Peñalosa, reshaped the project with a surface train.
Petro met Saturday with the current Mayor of Bogota, Claudia López.
Petro will take office on August 7, thus becoming the first ever leftist president in the country.