Bogota to con­tinue ‘open arms’ pol­icy to­wards mi­grants

Venezue­lan cri­sis is cost­ing Colom­bia about 0.5% of GDP or around $1.3b, says pres­i­dent; World Bank to de­liver a de­tailed re­port on the so­cial im­pact of the cri­sis on Colom­bia in a few weeks

The Gulf Today - - AMERICAS -

Bo got a: venezuela’ s mi­grant cri­sis is cost­ing neigh­bour­ing Colom­bia about 0.5 per cent of GDP — or around $1.3 bil­lion — its Pres­i­dent Ivan Duque said on Fri­day af­ter talks with A top World Bank OFI­CIAL.

Duque said Colom­bia would con­tinue its “open arms” pol­icy to­wards mi­grants from its cri­sis-worn neigh­bour but the eco­nomic and so­cial costs on his coun­try had to be eval­u­ated.

“The eco­nomic im­pact that the mi­gra­tion cri­sis may have can be of the order of 0.5 per­cent of GDP and ob­vi­ously we want to look At How that Is RELECTED In health, in ed­u­ca­tion, in in­fra­struc­ture, in many pub­lic as­sets,” the pres­i­dent said.

Duque was speak­ing af­ter talks in Bogota with the World Bank’s vice pres­i­dent for Latin Amer­ica and the Caribbean, Jorge Fa­mil­iar.

Fa­mil­iar said the bank would de­liver a de­tailed re­port on the so­cial im­pact of the cri­sis on Colom­bia in a few weeks.

Duque said it would “serve to guide” his gov­ern­ment in deal­ing with the cri­sis.

Fa­mil­iar praised Colom­bia’s lead­er­ship in the mi­gra­tion cri­sis, but said “this is a re­gional is­sue that will re­quire a re­gional re­sponse.”

Sep­a­rately, guer­ril­las the ELN rebels on Fri­day said Duque’s pledge not to restart stalled peace talks with the gueril­las un­til the group has freed all hostages and his re­jec­tion of Venezuela as a guar­an­tor coun­try are part of a plan to “shat­ter” the process.

“Pres­i­dent Duque keeps adding uni­lat­eral con­di­tions in order not to give con­ti­nu­ity to the peace process,” the ELN said in a state­ment. “In his state­ments he de­mands that to con­tinue we must cease our in­sur­gent ac­tiv­ity uni­lat­er­ally and ahead of time.”

His de­mands are not part of what was agreed by the two sides be­fore the start of the Ha­vana-based talks, the rebels added.

“We are fac­ing rulers who plan to shat­ter the peace process,” the state­ment said, ac­cus­ing the United States of us­ing Colom­bia’s gov­ern­ment to “launch a BEL­LI­COSE, Ab­surd AND FRATRICIDAL Conlict against Venezuela.”

The UN says 2.3 mil­lion Venezue­lans are liv­ing out­side the coun­try, with 1.6 mil­lion HAV­ING LED SINCE 2015.

An ES­TI­MATED 90 per Cent HAVE LED to other Latin Amer­i­can coun­tries.

Colom­bia has taken in more than a mil­lion Venezue­lans.

Duque’s ad­min­is­tra­tion, like that of his pre­de­ces­sor Juan Manuel San­tos, has branded Venezue­lan Pres­i­dent Nico­las Maduro a dic­ta­tor.

Ivan Duque

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Bahrain

© PressReader. All rights reserved.