Colombia's President Makes State Visit to Washington

For the first time in over 20 years a Colombian president made a state visit to Washington, October 28 to 31. President Andrés Pastrana met with President Clinton, other U.S. government officials, and top-level officials of the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank. Pastrana focused on gaining support and approval for Colombian peace initiatives; addressing the war on drugs; looking for economic support and advancement of talks on bilateral investment; and generally improving and deepening U.S.-Colombian relations.

President Clinton pledged support for Pastrana's efforts. A large part of this support came as a $280 million development and anti-drug aid package. The presidents signed an Alliance Against Drugs which emphasized both countries' commitment to combating problems associated with drugs. Although the "war" on drugs has been deemed ineffective by many, including President Pastrana, this is where most U.S. support is and will continue to be focused.