NATO military officials hold staff-to-staff talks in Colombia

From 11 to 14 July 2022, representatives from the NATO International Military Staff (IMS) Cooperative Security division, SHAPE and NATO’s Land and Air Commands attended staff-to-staff talks with Colombian military officials in Bogotá. Discussions focused on the NATO-Colombia military cooperation, including participation in training, exercises and NATO courses as well as maritime security. The delegation also visited the Naval Base ARC Bolívar in Cartagena.

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Meeting with the Colombian Chief of Defence, General Luis Fernando Navarro Jiménez, the Director of the IMS Cooperative Security, Major General Francesco Diella highlighted the value of the NATO-Colombia military partnership. “Since 2017, we have continued to strengthen our dialogue and cooperation, including on regional security, the fight against corruption, terrorism, disinformation and cyber threats. We are grateful to Colombia for becoming our first South America partner and for setting an example in the region”, added Major General Diella.

NATO and Colombian officials then discussed the practical modalities of the new Individually Tailored Partnership Programme (ITTP), which was signed in December 2021. Colombia is the first partner to transition into such a new programme, which covers areas for enhanced cooperation such as interoperability, building integrity, training and education, as well as new areas like climate change and security. The NATO delegation then provided a comprehensive briefing on opportunities to join NATO training, courses and exercises. “By working and training more closely together, we will continue to build and strengthen the ties that unite NATO and Colombia, reinforcing the work we do together”, underlined Colonel Juan Martinez-Esparza, Deputy Director of the IMS Cooperative Security.

The second part of the programme was led by the Colombian delegation who provided a series of briefings on national areas of interest, such as maritime security, air and space opportunities and challenges as well as ongoing national initiatives. The NATO delegation then received presentations from the Colombian National Army Training Centre, the Colombian Future Army Transformation Command, the Colombian Transnational Threat Command and the Colombian Disaster Relief Brigade. They were also able to observe a demonstration by the Air Assault Division Capabilities and visited the Naval Base ARC Bolívar in Cartagena.

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