Colombia and the United Kingdom (UK) signed an agreement to increase security and defense cooperation Monday, which will include joint training of the countries’ armed forces.

The accordance was signed during the Third Strategic Dialogue between Colombia and the UK in Cartagena late Monday afternoon. In attendance were Colombian vice-ministers of Defense, Jorge Bedoya and General Jose Perez, and the UK’s Minister for International Security Strategy, Andrew Murrison.

Aboard the HMS Richmond frigate, Bedoya explained that the agreement will center around the navies of the two countries, and will also feature an increase in information sharing regarding narco-trafficking and transnational crime, according to the El Universal newspaper.

Furthermore, the deal will have see parts of the European Union give support to the Colombian Coast Guard in its crime-fighting efforts.

Another issue discussed at the meeting was Colombia’s potential participation in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Colombia signed an agreement with the Alliance Treaty Organization in June to cooperate in terms of sharing intelligence, but it was made explicitly clear that the South American country would not be a member in the near future.

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Cyber-security was also discussed, and both countries agreed to put more joint effort into boosting protection of their respective online realms.

At the end of the meeting, Murrison noted that the relationship between Colombia and the UK “is passing through a special moment, that is growing and developing, each time in more diverse aspects.”

In the coming weeks the UK will reportedly send a fleet of hovercrafts to Colombia for their armed forces.


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