Dr. Hamdullah Mohib, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United States and non-resident Ambassador to Colombia, visited Bogotá from June 13 to June 15, 2018, following an official invitation by the Government of the Republic of Colombia.
During this three-day visit, Ambassador Mohib met with Colombian representatives to discuss various aspects of peace and reconciliation models, and strengthen Afghan-Colombian bilateral relations. He met with senior government officials at the Ministry of External Affairs, the Ministry of Defense, the High Peace Commission, the Agency for Reincorporation and Normalization, the Organization for the Victims of Armed Conflict, the Ministry of National Education, the High Counselor for Women’s Affairs, and the National Museum of Colombia.
The main purpose of the visit was for Afghanistan and Colombia to start a dialogue about Colombia’s successful peace process for Afghanistan to understand what lessons and models may be replicated with success in Afghanistan’s peace-building process. The Colombian representatives shared the experiences of the country’s half-century of conflict and subsequent peace-building with the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC). The meetings covered multiple facets of peace-building, from creating a climate of trust leading to negotiations, the reintegration process of former combatants, transitional justice, women’s roles in the peace process, and expanding service-delivery to citizens post-conflict.
In order to strengthen bilateral political relations and further cooperation between Afghanistan and Colombia, Ambassador Mohib met with Deputy Minister for International Affairs of the Ministry of External Affairs, Patti Londoño Jaramillo. They discussed the upcoming credentialing ceremony of Colombia’s non-resident Ambassador to Afghanistan, who is the Colombian Ambassador in India. In addition, they spoke about the possibility of a Colombian delegation visiting Afghanistan to build economic and trade ties.
Ministry of Defense officials met with Ambassador Mohib to speak about the possibility of working with Afghanistan to increase the capabilities of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, particularly the air force. They discussed cooperation in the field of pilot training and technical assistance, as well as training in the field of de-mining operations.
Ambassador Mohib also discussed with Colombian officials opportunities for Afghans to participate in capacity building programs and scholarships for higher education. Ambassador Mohib toured Colombia’s National Museum and discussed with the curator exhibiting ancient Afghan artifacts, for example the mobile Bakhtrian gold exhibit, in the museum.
To conclude his trip, Ambassador Mohib met the Ambassador of the United States of America to Colombia, Kevin Whitaker. As the visit fell during Eid al-Fitr, Ambassador Mohib participated in Eid prayers at a local mosque alongside a fellow Afghan and Muslims living in Bogotá.