U.S. military aircrafts may have access to any international airport in Colombia, confirmed the military agreement between Colombia and the U.S, which was made public on Tuesday evening.
The controversial agreement, signed last Friday, states that with Colombian permission, United States military personnel may have access to any international airbase in the country.
Colombia’s Interior and Justice Minister Fabio Valencia Cossio, specified that the agreement precisely allows U.S. presence at seven of Colombia’s airbases, but the government can authorize U.S. use of other stations, reported news station CMI on Wednesday.
Valencia Cossio claimed that the agreement does not need to be approved by Colombian Congress but any U.S. military activities must be approved by and coordinated with Colombian authorities.
The commander of the Colombian Armed Forces, General Freddy Padilla, explained that the benefits of the agreement will be felt throughout the country as it will contribute to the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking.
The agreement further confirms that with Colombian permission, Americans may construct buildings such as living quarters on the military bases where they have access but these buildings may not serve as installations to conduct new military activities.
General Padilla added that for the first time, U.S. personnel working within the agreement will be granted diplomatic immunity in Colombia but the U.S. government has committed to addressing any request from Colombian authorities to renounce this immunity should there arise indications that an American citizen be involved in criminal activity against Colombia.
Finally, the U.S. military will not participate in any armed operations in Colombia assured the Ambassador William Brownfield in an interview with newspaper El Tiempo on Sunday.
CMI detailed that the agreement intends to be in place for an initial time period of ten years and shall be renewable for extended periods of ten years.