Colombian President: 'You Won't Need Walls' With Economic Development

An engraving showing the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson in the Senate

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos met Thursday with President Trump, hoping to secure guarantees for a continuation of millions of dollars in US aid as his country emerges from a half-century of civil war.

The Obama administration backed the peace accord between the government of Santos and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, which Colombia's Congress passed in November.

Amid indications that Colombia is cultivating more coca and producing more cocaine than ever, the country has been under enormous worldwide pressure to tackle the problem, especially from its key global ally, the United States.

The press conference is also the president's first public appearance after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller to be special counsel to investigate any ties between Russian Federation and The Trump campaign.

The coca-fighting methods used by Colombia in recent years have been a point of contention between security officials in the two countries. Santos also brought up human trafficking and illegal mining, which he said are practiced by the same networks that traffic drugs.

Despite government optimism, the FARC said in a statement later in the day that the ruling put the peace accord in its most hard position since the start of talks.

Trump's remarks came during a meeting with the president of Colombia, where cartel-based violence is a major issue.

Trump drew laughter from the press corp when he asked, "Does anyone have any questions?" "Last year, Colombia coca cultivation and cocaine production reached a record high, which, hopefully, will be remedied very quickly by the president [Santos]", said Trump. We declared the war on drugs 40 years ago.

Slashing support for Colombia would be a major setback to the peace process and could undermine decades of US effort against violent insurgency and narcotics trafficking.

Colombian President Juan Manuel had a mission with his visit to the United States: To obtain support from President Donald Trump for his peace agreement with FARC rebels.

"I urge President Trump and all of the United States to look more to the south", he told Baier. But rather than launching a new drug war, Santos will push for more US aid for his peace process with drug trafficking rebels. "So by working together, we can be much more effective, and that is a commitment we just made or ratified this afternoon", Santos said.

Trump took the opportunity to jump in after what he called Santos's "very long, very diplomatic answer". "They work. Believe me".

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