Friday, 12 February 2010

Colombia's Uribe Signs Security Pact with Honduras' Lobo

TEGUCIGALPA – Colombian president Alvaro Uribe signed a security pact with his Honduran counterpart, Porfirio Lobo, and then flew back to his own country after a visit of three hours in the Central American nation.

After a private meeting with Lobo and the ministers of the new Honduran government, both presidents signed a brief declaration in which they committed to launching an “action plan in security matters” beginning next Feb. 15.

The accord states that the authorities responsible for security in the two countries will exchange experiences and best practices.

They will also develop mechanisms for bilateral cooperation aimed at strengthening the institutional capabilities of the two countries in security matters, according to the declaration that Lobo and Uribe signed in Tegucigalpa.
“Colombia and Honduras have maintained magnificent relations, we need to strengthen those relations every day, and we are very pleased that the action plan in matters of security will begin on Feb. 15,” Uribe said in a statement distributed to the press at the end of his meeting with Lobo.

He added that both Honduras and Colombia are harmed by drug trafficking and terrorism, scourges that destroy “morality and ethics” while creating in society “an attitude of contempt for the law.”

Uribe said that he very much liked sharing aspirations for security with Honduras, as well as the vision of economic prosperity promoted by Lobo, who took power last Jan. 27.

“Security, economic prosperity and social justice are inseparable,” Uribe said.

Lobo said that he and the Colombian president had “an exchange of ideas that was very important for democracy, and in particular very important for Honduras.”

They also analyzed matters affecting trade between the two countries and some development projects in the agricultural and forestry sectors.

Uribe is the first president who has come to Honduras to acknowledge Lobo’s presidency and offer him support after his inauguration, following the international isolation the Central American country has suffered since the coup that deposed Manuel Zelaya on June 28, 2009.

Lobo and Uribe offered the press no further commentaries, and after signing the joint agreement the Colombian president departed for his own country.

Uribe arrived in Honduras from Davos, Switzerland, where he participated in the World Economic Forum.