Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez said he would ask the defense ministers of UNASUR who meet in Quito today to consider the implications of the purchase of arms in the region and the creation of hostile environments between countries.
“We want to forward mechanisms of trust in all issues: in the cooperation agreement; the issue of buying arms from third [party] countries; the issue of the presence of terrorist groups; and the issue of narcotrafficking,” Bermudez said.
He added that “it is very important that the whole region analyze the issues in their entirety.” Although the minister did not mention names, he tacitly referred to Venezuela’s recent purchase of weapons from Russia, reports W Radio.
Bermudez said that “Colombia is a country that considers its enemies to be drug trafficking and terrorism. That is why we call for international cooperation, without ambiguities.”
In reference to recent concerns in the region regarding the expansion of Colombia’s military cooperation with the U.S., the minister said that “[Colombia wants] to cooperate effectively with each and every one of the countries. Not only with the United States. With other countries [too], and we hope it will also occur on a regional level.”
Bermudez will participate in the Quito summit on Colombia’s behalf along with Defense Minister Gabriel Silva.
The United States Monday expressed its concern over the purchase of arms by Venezuela in response to the U.S.-Colombian military plans.
The Defense Ministers will meet following a meeting by the leaders of South American nations discussing this military pact.