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20.01.2020 20:27 News >> Pompeo In Colombia To Attend Anti-Terrorism Conference

Pompeo In Colombia To Attend Anti-Terrorism Conference

Juan Guaido, Venezuelan opposition leader, expected to meet with top US diplomat Mike Pompeo.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Colombia on Monday to attend the III Regional Conference Against Terrorism held in the capital, Bogota.
After a private meeting with Colombian President Ivan Duque, Secretary Pompeo joined him and Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaida in a tribute to the 22 cadets who were killed in an attack carried out by the ELN rebel group on Jan. 17, 2019 in the General Santander Police Academy in Bogota.
"The United States appreciates the generosity of the people of Colombia and their efforts to care for 1,600,000 Venezuelan refugees, in stark contrast to the pain [Venezuela President Nicolas] Maduro has inflicted on his people," he said in a press conference held prior to the event.
He said that Washington would continue imposing sanctions against members of Maduro's government and their families "to help Venezuelans restore democracy."
Colombian Vice President Marta Lucia Ramirez, Minister of Foreign Affairs Claudia Blum de Barberi and Defense Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo also attended the tribute along with representatives of 25 countries who will participate in the conference.
The purpose of the summit is to discuss the relationship between international terrorism and organized crime and offer strategies to prevent and combat the threat more effectively.
One of the central themes of the summit will be the presence of guerrilla and other illegal armed groups such as the FARC dissidents in Venezuelan territory, a topic President Duque has brought up in his statements on several occasions.
During the UN General Assembly, the Colombian head of state claimed these illegal groups receive support, sponsorship, money and weapons from Maduro.
"In the conversation we had this morning we were able to share concerns about the support the tyranny and dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro gives to terrorist groups in his territory," said Duque, adding he will address this issue at the conference.
On Monday, Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza criticized Pompeo over expected meeting with Guaido.
"Secretary Pompeo finds it hard to understand that, as a puppeteer, his theatrical production was a monumental failure in Venezuela. Rather than accepting it and opting for diplomacy, he now takes his defeated puppet out into the world," he wrote on Twitter in reference to Guaido's meeting with Pompeo.
It is not clear how Juan Guaido left Venezuela but it is the second time he defies the ban to travel imposed by Venezuela's Supreme Court.
After the conference, Guaido is heading to the World Economic Forum in Davos, as he rallies international support for his campaign against Maduro. -



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