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Biden’s meeting with Colombian President will heavily focus on migration, officials say

The White House meeting will also feature other topics, including the future of the US-Colombian relationship, security cooperation, efforts to protect Colombian elections from outside interference and environmental concerns, according to one official. Biden and Duque will also review the US and Colombia’s “holistic” approach to counternarcotics, which includes addressing its root causes, the official said.

Thursday’s meeting comes ahead of the ninth Summit of the Americas, which will be hosted in Los Angeles in June. One of the issues that will be addressed in that summit will be migration and how to better support countries that are on the “front line,” one official said.

“We’re looking to build off of the example of countries like Colombia, bring more support to countries again on the front line, bring leaders around the table to collectively look at how we can chart a new course to better manage migration in the Western Hemisphere,” the official said.

As of June 2021, more than 1.7 million Venezuelans had fled to Colombia, which has granted temporary protected status to Venezuelans in the country.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last week that the meeting between Biden and Duque “provides an opportunity for the Presidents to celebrate 200 years of positive diplomatic relations and consult on a range of regional and global issues of mutual interest, including Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military invasion of Ukraine, and the promotion of democracy, security, and prosperity in the hemisphere.”

Asked about Russian influence in the Americas and disinformation, one administration official pointed to “technical assistance and support” the US has provided to Colombia to defend critical infrastructure and counter misinformation efforts.

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