U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis met with Colombia’s defense minister on Friday to reaffirm the long-standing defense relationship between the United States and Colombia, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said.

The defense ministers of Colombia,  Guillermo Botero and the United States, James Mattis met to evaluate security issues. Photo: Ministry of Defence

In a statement summarizing the meeting held in the Colombian capital city of Bogota, White said the secretary met with Defense Minister Guillermo Botero.

“The leaders discussed a broad range of defense issues, and the secretary thanked the minister for their country’s regional leadership role as a security exporter,” White said.

The secretary also thanked Colombia for its work regionally to denounce undemocratic actions – especially those in Venezuela and Nicaragua, White said.

The leaders agreed to work together to achieve mutual strategic objectives to address regional challenges, she said.

Attending the meeting also was the high command of the Military Forces and the National Police in order to strengthen, which qualify the “excellent relations of cooperation between the two nations.”

Colombia and the United States agreed on a “carta de navegación” (navigation chart) for the next five years, which should result in the elimination of half of the coca fields.

According to the US Department of State, they are on 209,000 hectares in 2017, the outgoing government had launched a tentative figure on the 180,000 hectares of narco-crops.