Colombian Presidentís First State Visit to the UK

The Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos, is visiting for three days as an official guest of the Queen

November 11th, 2016
Susanna Mancini, CD News

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos arrived in the United Kingdom on Tuesday. This is the first time a state visit to the UK has been carried out by a Colombian President. It comes after President Santos was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end one of the world's longest-running civil wars.

"Never before a president of my country had been invited to pay a state visit to the UK," Santos was quoted as saying by Prensa Latina.

President Santos was greeted by the Queen and Prince Philip on Horse Guards Parade, a historic parade-ground in the heart of London, alongside the band of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, who played Colombia's national anthem.  

On Wednesday, 2nd November, Santos will meet with Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, as well as attending a number of events at various schools and museums.

On 3rd November, the President, who has been leading Colombia’s peace process, will travel to Belfast to learn about Northern Ireland’s experience of peace-building and the benefits that peace and political progress has brought for community relations and efforts to build a stronger economy.

Mr Santos was hailed for his political courage over a peace deal with left-wing Farc rebels, although the accord was narrowly rejected by Colombians in a vote last month. Despite that, both the government and the rebels have pledged to maintain their ceasefires and try to move the peace process forward.

The President will hold a lecture on Wednesday 2nd November at the London School of Economics (LSE), where he is a former student. During the lecture, he will share his experiences in navigating the turning tides in the quest for peace and will offer his vision for post-conflict Colombia.

The President will leave the UK on 3rd  November in order to go ahead with the peace agreement.


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