Official Welcoming Ceremony Arrival of His Excellency Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, President of the Republic of Colombia

Rideau Hall, October 30, 2017


Excellency, membres of the delegation, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Rideau Hall and to Canada.

This is your first visit to Canada and, as it happens, the first State visit I have the pleasure of hosting since becoming governor general a few weeks ago.

I am delighted to welcome you to this historic residence and to be the first to extend some warm and heartfelt Canadian hospitality.

The visit of a delegation from Colombia is very significant, solidifying a bilateral relationship we have enjoyed since 1953.

It is an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to working with your nation.

Much unites us, including:

- the strength of our commercial and trade relations, which we hope to expand during this visit and in the future;

- our common interests in key areas such as security, human rights and governance;

- and, a passion for national sports.

We also share concerns for the environment and the importance of ensuring sustainable development, water security, and the protection of biodiversity, both regionally and globally.

The challenges are numerous and we have a lot of work ahead of us. But the presence within your delegation of members of such depth and quality attests to the importance of the discussions this visit fosters and the prospect of advancement it brings. 

We are looking forward to meeting your ministerial colleagues already engaged with Canadian counterparts and other members of the delegation later tonight.

On behalf of all Canadians, I would like to congratulate you and your government, President Santos, for the leadership you have displayed in building a lasting peace in Colombia. For this remarkable achievement, you most deservedly received the Nobel Peace Prize last year – Congratulations!

I can assure you that you have the complete support of Canada in the continuation of this essential peace process.

We believe in working together to overcome differences for the well-being of all.

Mr. President, I thank you and the members of your delegation for visiting our country.

Welcome to Canada!