BOGOTA, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Colombia's new Ambassador to the United States, Gabriel Silva, said on Wednesday the new government attaches importance to the security issues in its relations with the United States.
"I believe that the purpose of my appointment is a clear signal that security and defense issues in bilateral relations with the United States are still very important," Silva, who currently serves as defense minister, told local Caracol Radio.
Silva was named by President-elect Juan Manuel Santos, who will take office on Aug. 7, during an official visit to Peru.
Referring to the diplomatic row between Colombia and Venezuela, the ambassador said "regional issue is a part of the conversations" with the United States.
Analysts said the new ambassador will convince the U.S. legislature to approve the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which was signed by the two governments in 2006 but has not been ratified by the U.S. Congress till now.
In the early 1990s, Silva served in the Colombian embassy in Washington, D.C.