NATO International Military Staff welcomes Colombian delegation to NATO
On the 28th of October 2021, the NATO International Military Staff’s Cooperative Security Division hosted a delegation of Colombian military officials for a day of for inter-staff talks at the NATO Headquarters. Colombia has been a NATO Partner since 2017 and this is the first military-to-military meeting held in Brussels.
The Colombian Delegation was welcomed by the Deputy Director of the Cooperative Security Division, Colonel Martinez-Esparza before heading into a day of meetings with staff from the NATO International Military Staff and International Staff. Topics discussed included the fight against corruption and building integrity as well as cyber security and maritime security.
The Colombian Delegation was headed by General Jorge Gonzalez Parra, Chief of the Colombian Joint Staff and included Rear Admiral Jose Ricardo Hurtado, Naval Operations Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Edgar Falla as well as other members of the Colombian Armed Forces. They were supported by the Colombian Military Representation Staff, lead by General Jaime Carvajal.
Colombia is NATO’s newest Partner country. In 2019, a second Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme, was signed that formalised the recognition of Colombia as a NATO partner. As part of this cooperation, NATO supports Colombia its continuing efforts to develop its armed forces, while Colombia provides demining training to NATO Allies and other partner countries.
The Director of the Cooperative Security Division, Major General Diella later reflected on the meetings, saying “I am happy to have Colombia as NATO’s partner in Latin America. Today, we had a great opportunity to discuss security challenges, and we had a fruitful and constructive exchange that will improve our cooperation in cyber security, the fight against terrorism and corruption, and our cooperation maritime security.”
The staff talks come as Colombia and NATO will agree a new partnership programme in the autumn of 2021. Potential areas of interest for enhanced cooperation include interoperability, building integrity, training and education, as well as new areas like climate change and security.