WASHINGTON, Feb 6 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump and Colombian President Ivan Duque will discuss Venezuela and other issues at the White House on Feb. 13, the White House said on Wednesday.
It will be the first visit to Washington as president by Duque, a right-wing lawyer and former senator who took office last August after a decisive election victory against a leftist opponent.
“The leaders expect to discuss their commitment to pro-growth policies, combating terrorism and illicit narcotic networks, strategic partnerships in regional security, and efforts to restore democracy in Venezuela,” the White House said in a statement.
The United States has stepped up pressure to drive Venezuela’s socialist President Nicolas Maduro from power after recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaido as acting president last month.
Colombia has backed the effort. “I hope that in the coming days the diplomatic siege will continue,” Duque said on Friday, calling for free elections in Venezuela as part of a transition process.
Colombia has become the main destination for the more than 3 million Venezuelans who have left their country, fleeing a political, economic and social crisis. More than 1 million Venezuelans currently live in Colombia.
Trump met with Duque in New York at the U.N. General Assembly in September. He had planned to travel to Colombia in December but the visit was canceled. (Reporting by Mohammad Zargham Editing by Alistair Bell)