Colombia named NATO's first Latin American 'global partner'
One year after Colombia and NATO reached a partnership deal after a peace agreement between the Latin American country and the former FARC rebel group, President Juan Manuel Santos announced the formalizing of its global partner status.
"We will formalize in Brussels next week — and this is very important — Colombia's entry into NATO in the category of global partner. We will be the only country in Latin America with this privilege," Santos said in a televised address.
Santos was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016 for ending a decades-long civil war in Colombia.
Read more: Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos wins 2016 Nobel Peace Prize
The announcement was made on the same day that the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said that Colombia would be officially invited to join the group. The Paris-based economic organization was founded in 1961 and has traditionally included industrialized nations, though in recent years it has extended its membership to emerging economies.
Read more: Colombia to become a member of the OECD international economic organization
Colombia joins Afghanistan, Australia, Iraq, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mongolia, New Zealand and Pakistan as "partners across the globe" or simply "global partners."
Each country "has developed an Individual Partnership Cooperation Program" with the US-led alliance, with many contributing actively to NATO missions.
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kw/ng (AP, AFP)