Joint press conference

by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg with the President of Colombia, Iván Duque Márquez

  • 23 Oct. 2018 -
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  • Last updated: 23 Oct. 2018 17:03

(As delivered)

President Duque,

It is a great honour and a great pleasure to welcome you here to the NATO headquarters. Especially since this is your first visit to NATO and also because Colombia is our first partner is Latin America. And we highly value the partnership with your country, we look forward to strengthen that partnership and to work closer together on many different issues, where we see common ground and where we face common challenges.

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.

In 2015, Colombia took part in NATO’s Operation Ocean Shield to counter piracy off the Horn of Africa. We continue to work closely together.

Your commitment to NATO’s Building Integrity programme has helped increase the transparency and the professionalism of Colombia’s defence institutions.
And Colombian personnel have also benefitted from military education at the NATO School in Germany, and the NATO Defence College in Italy.

We just had a very productive meeting where we discussed how we can further step up our cooperation and partnership between Colombia and NATO. In areas like cyber defence, demining. And we are extremely grateful for your offer to help us strengthen our demining capacities, and also promoting the role of women in peace and security, as examples of where we can do more together.

We are looking at how Colombia’s experience in countering improvised explosive devices could be shared with NATO. The Alliance could also benefit from Colombia’s expertise in support of our efforts in Afghanistan.

So President,

Thank you once again for being here.

NATO’s partnerships across the world are of great importance for NATO, but we really welcome Colombia, since you are our first and so far only partner in Latin America, and I look forward to continue to work with you and to strengthen the partnership between Colombia and NATO.

So once again, welcome.