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| 10/30/2009 12:00:00 AM

Colombian Defense Minister wraps up U.S. visit at Southern Command

Oct 30--Colombian Defense Minister Gabriel Silva visited U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) headquarters in Miami today, where he met with the SOUTHCOM commander, U.S. Air Force Gen. Douglas M. Fraser, and other command leaders.

During Silva’s visit—his first since becoming defense minister—included discussions of current and future cooperation between U.S. and Colombia's armed forces, according to the official SOUTHCOM press release.

Public affairs officials could not confirm if the plan to augment the existing presence of U.S. troops in Colombia was discussed at the meeting. However, they did say the signing of the two countries’ defense cooperation agreement was pending. That agreement includes details for future military cooperation between the U.S. and Colombia.

Silva told reporters on Tuesday the accord would most likely be signed on Friday in Bogotá, according to Reuters reports.

Today’s meeting wraps up a 4-day trip by Silva to visit with other military commanders. He visited the Pentagon Monday, where he met with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and discussed a broad range of security issues, including topics relating to counter-narcotics operations.

Silva participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Ceremony and visited Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, on Tuesday, then stopped at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida on Wednesday.
 
Read more here.
 
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