New SOUTHCOM Commander Visits Colombia
By Dialogo December 20, 2012
Colombian Minister of National Defense Juan Carlos Pinzón, and the recently appointed Commander of the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), General John F. Kelly, met during the U.S. high-ranking official’s first visit to Colombia, on December 17.
During the meeting, both officials analyzed the cooperation mechanisms that Colombia has been boosting with other countries as the main player in hemispheric security concerns. Likewise, they discussed the country’s participation in regional security missions, as well as the security improvements that the nation has achieved.
“Colombia has proven to be an important partner, committed to the security of the Western Hemisphere and the international community through its important participation in regional security missions, such as ‘Operation Martillo’”, Gen. Kelly assured.
The general, who assumed his position on November 19, highlighted the admiration that other countries in the continent have for Colombia’s courage and strength in the fight against narcoterrorism and transnational organized crime. At the same time, he honored the Armed Forces for their efforts to preserve Colombian democracy and reach an enduring peace in the country.
Gen. Kelly also mentioned that U.S. authorities are determined to strengthen the cooperation between SOUTHCOM and Colombia.
Finally, Minister Pinzón and Gen. Kelly agreed on the need to keep reinforcing actions aimed at confronting new security challenges, as well as working closely to help seriously injured soldiers in the country’s internal conflict.