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| 8/18/2009 12:00:00 AM

US Colombia deal 'not a threat'

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has sought to calm fears in Latin America about a planned new military agreement with Colombia.--BBC NEWS

Some countries in the region have expressed alarm over the US plans to use Colombian bases to combat drug traffickers and rebels.

But Mrs Clinton said the accord would respect Colombian sovereignty and other countries would not be affected.

It would also not lead to a significant increase in US troop numbers, she said.

"The United States does not have and does not seek bases inside Colombia," said Mrs Clinton, following talks in Washington with Colombian Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez.

She said the threat from Marxist rebels and drug traffickers in Colombia was very real but that the US was "committed to supporting the government of Colombia in its efforts to provide security to all its citizens".

Mr Bermudez said developing "more effective mechanisms of cooperation" would benefit both Colombia and the region.

"We have suffered, and we have learned from the lessons as a result of this suffering," he said.

Read more here.
 
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