Head of SOUTHCOM visits Lima

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Monday, Dec. 7

LIMA, Peru – The good relations between Peru and the U.S. were underscored last week when U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) Commander Air Force Gen. Douglas M. Fraser visited Lima to learn of the progress made by local security forces and discuss plans to coordinate the war on drug trafficking and terrorism.

After his meeting with Gen. Francisco Contreras, chief of the joint command of the Peruvian armed forces, Fraser told EFE of his counterpart’s deep commitment to military cooperation that would draw the two countries closer together. “We have met with officials from the Ministries of Defense and Foreign Relations to coordinate actions that will strengthen our work,” said Fraser in a press release published by AFP.

Among the major agreements reached were to open talks on the possible modernization of Peruvian military equipment and to plan joint training exercises to combat drug trafficking and terrorism. “We will continue to support the Peruvian armed forces with technical assistance and cooperation in training and security, because this is a friendly country, which is very important to the United States,” added Fraser. The general also stressed that by working together with the rest of the American countries, it will be possible to achieve “a vision of stability, security and lasting peace in our hemisphere.”

As well as meeting Contreras, according to El Comercio, Fraser also met with Peruvian Army Chief Gen. Otto Guibovich; head of the navy, Vice Admiral Rolando Navarrete and Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. Carlos Samame.

The Peruvian joint command, according to AP, announced that the meeting was significant because it resulted in the bilateral support program for 2010, which covers “priority issues such as security and training for members of the Peruvian armed forces.” Other important parts of the bilateral cooperation are the U.S. humanitarian missions, which provide medical and dental care to remote and poverty-stricken areas of Peru.

Fraser arrived in Peru on Dec. 2 after visiting Colombia, where he inspected Palanquero, one of the Colombian military bases being used by U.S. forces under the new cooperation agreement between Washington and Bogota.

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