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Engel Statement on Obama Administration's Commitment on New Assistance to Colombia

ENGEL STATEMENT ON OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S COMMITMENT ON NEW ASSISTANCE TO COLOMBIA

WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement on the Obama Administration’s commitment on new assistance to Colombia:

“I have long argued that we must support Colombia in peace just as much as we have supported it through years of war.  I commend President Obama for announcing a significant increase in our assistance to Colombia.  As President Santos gets close to signing a historic peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the Obama Administration is rightfully doubling down on our commitment to our number one ally in South America.  I urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to join me in supporting not only full funding of the Obama Administration’s FY 2017 request for Colombia, but also in continuing our multi-decade commitment to the Colombian people.”

Background

This week, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is visiting Washington for a celebration of 15 years of Plan Colombia and meetings with President Barack Obama and Members of Congress on the future of our bilateral partnership.  At the White House yesterday, President Obama announced over $450 million in new assistance for Colombia for Fiscal Year 2017 along with $33 million to fund a demining initiative in the country.  This new aid program will be known as “Peace Colombia.”  The United States provided $326 million in assistance to Colombia for Fiscal Year 2016.

Ranking Member Engel joined Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan for a meeting with President Santos on Wednesday.