First NATO-Colombia Military Staff talks in Bogota

  • 10 Oct. 2019 -
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  • Last updated: 24 Oct. 2019 09:50

From 7 to 10 October, a NATO delegation from the NATO International Military Staff (IMS) led by Major General Jan Toft, Director of the Cooperative Security Division, went to Colombia for the first time to hold NATO-Colombia Military Staff Talks.

In May 2017, NATO reached a partnership agreement with Colombia making the country NATO’s latest partner and the Alliance’s first partner in South America. Ties between NATO and Colombia have grown since and the partnership has been renewed. As part of this ongoing partnership, NATO and Colombia agreed to further strengthen dialogue and cooperation to address security challenges in a number of areas of shared concern.

The military delegation led by Major General Toft met with Colombian Minister of Defence, Mr Guillermo Botero Nieto, the Chief of Colombian Military Forces and the Commanders of Land, Sea and Air forces. Discussions included the development of a common approach to global security challenges such as cyber security, maritime security, and terrorism and its links to organised crime; to support peace and security efforts, including human security; and to build the capacities and capabilities of the Colombian armed forces.

During the visit Major General Toft also delivered a briefing on “NATO and its Partners” at the Nueva Granada University during the “1st International Forum Colombia and NATO”. Addressing the students, General Toft highlighted Colombia’s unique position as NATO’s first South-American partner. “Colombia has a lot of expertise to share with us and we have a wide range of experts who can help. There is a lot we can learn from each other. Our cooperation is good for Colombia and it is good for NATO. It is based on our common values and a shared commitment to international peace and security”, concluded General Toft. Work is underway to identify how Colombia's expertise can best support NATO Allies and partners.

The military delegation also visited the Tolemaida Fort and Palanquero Air Base, where they were able to observe Colombian troops and their capabilities, before heading to the Armed Forces Command, Air Command, Naval Command and Doctrine Centre for discussions.

Colombia is a partner of a range of countries beyond the Euro-Atlantic area – often referred to as “partners across the globe”. Other Nations include Afghanistan, Australia, Colombia, Iraq, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mongolia, New Zealand and Pakistan.