The U.S. said Wednesday it will issue a statement regarding a military base agreement with Colombia at the UNASUR reunion on November 27.
The U.S. Ambassador to Colombia, William Brownfield, said that at the UNASUR Defense Council meeting in Quito on Friday his government will issue a final declaration regarding the military agreement made with Colombia, reported newspaper El Espectador Wednesday.
Brownfield explained that the U.S. is tired of ” repeating and confirming that their agreement [with Colombia] is not a threat” to Latin America but is in fact part of the extension of an existing agreement. The diplomat warned that the U.S. is not interested in participating in an eternal controversy.
The controversial agreement, signed some three weeks ago, allows for U.S. military personnel to have access to numerous airbases throughout Colombia territory with the alleged intention of assisting in the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking in the region.
The accord sparked tensions back in July with Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, who remains adamant that the objectives of the accord are suspicious. At the beginning of November Chavez elevated the severity of the situation by announcing that his country should be prepared to go to war with Colombia, sending several thousand troops to the border. Chavez however, retracted the statement soon after, denying he was encouraging armed conflict.
Chavez declared that “if the United States wants practical solutions we can sum it up in one: pull out of the bases and free Colombia.”
The delegates of the 12 UNASUR members will meet in Ecuador this Friday to discuss, among other things, the tense relations that several countries in the region are currently experiencing.