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US, Colombia discuss security strategies

posted by Zach Edling
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Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos and Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon will sit down with U.S. security advisors to discuss ways the two countries can better fight the war on drugs and the war on terror, local media reported Monday.

According to Caracol Radio, the United States’ Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough will be in Bogota on Monday and Tuesday along with Undersecretary of State William J. Burns to take part in “high level dialogues” with Colombia’s President, Minister of Defense, and Foreign Minister, Maria Angela Holguin.

Reportedly, this round of discussions could result in Colombia purchasing ten Black Hawk helicopters and unmanned spy planes known as “drones”.

If true, this purchase continues a recent trend of beefing up Colombia’s military. Last month, President Santos approved a $5.7 billion increase to the 2013 defense budget. Earlier this month, it was announced that 25,000 new soldiers will join Colombia’s armed forces over the next two years.

The sit-downs between the U.S. and Colombia are a continuation of a “concerted political mechanism” launced in 2010 aimed at diversifying the bilateral agenda and establishing a political and economic dialogue based on common interests.

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