U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III reaffirmed on Monday in a telephone conversation with his Colombian counterpart, Diego Molano, the importance of the alliance between Washington and Bogota and addressed other issues of common interest.
“I expressed my commitment to strengthening our defense relationship,” the secretary wrote on his Twitter account.
Austin said he spoke with the Colombian defense minister about “regional security, climate change, covid-19 and respect for human rights in the Western Hemisphere.”
A statement on the conversation also noted that they discussed “their shared interest in deepening cooperation” on strategic issues, among which they also mentioned the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking, and the exchange of intelligence information.
In addition, the Secretary of Defense “congratulated Colombia on its advances as a NATO global partner” and thanked the country for its contributions to international and regional security.
Colombia was the first Latin American country to achieve NATO “global partner” status, a relationship it made official in May 2018.
The country’s vice president and new foreign minister, Marta Lucía Ramírez, met today in Washington, where she arrived as part of the visit she began last Friday to the United States, with the secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, and the members of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).