U.S. And Colombia Sign Defense Cooperation Agreement

By Dialogo
November 04, 2009

The governments of the United States and Colombia signed the Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA) in a ceremony in Bogota on Friday, October 30th, in another indication of the close ties between the two countries and their commitment to address security concerns threatening the democratic stability and prosperity of Colombia. The DCA, which is now in force, is similar to agreements the U.S. maintains with other partner nations and updates existing bilateral agreements between Colombia and the United States. The agreement strengthens cooperation on security matters in Colombia including security concerns such as illicit narcotics trafficking, illegal armed groups, and terrorism and provides humanitarian assistance during natural disasters. The DCA (formally titled Supplemental Agreement for Cooperation and Technical Assistance) facilitates U.S. access for 10 years to three Colombian air force bases located at Palanquero, Apiay and Malambo; two naval bases and two army installations. The DCA does not permit the establishment of any U.S. base in Colombia, and all military installations are and will remain under Colombian control. All activities conducted at or from the Colombian bases by the United States can only take place with the express approval of the Colombian government. The agreement will not increase the current limits of 800 military and 600 civilian contractors set by Congress, and the actual presence of U.S. personnel in recent years has averaged half or less of the authorized number. According to the Associated Press, the Colombian Foreign Ministry said in a news release that the pact “respects the principles of equal sovereignty, territorial integrity and nonintervention in the internal affairs of other states.”
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