Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has praised the UK’s relationship with Colombia as British forces prepare to visit the country.
Michael Fallon welcomed his Colombian counterpart Luis Carlos Villegas Echeverri to the Ministry of Defence today, where they discussed how UK forces provide training and expertise in Colombia.
According to a press release, around 25 UK personnel have visited in 2016 to help the country secure a lasting peace with the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). The UK has provided training courses and expert advice on peacekeeping as well as defence education and support to the Colombian Ministry of Defence.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
“Colombia is a key partner in Latin America and it is vital we continue to provide first rate assistance as Colombia works towards a domestic peace deal.
By helping our partners to a more stable future, we help to make Britain itself safer and more secure at home.”
Royal Navy ships have visited Colombian ports in recent years, including HMS Mersey and HMS Lancaster, and the UK sent a band from the 1 Scots Guard to play at the annual Colombian Independence Day ceremony in July, attended by President Santos.
According to the government, the meeting was part of a state visit in which President of Colombia Juan Manual Santos met with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh and a Royal Salute was fired by the Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery from Green Park and at the Tower of London by the Honourable Artillery Company.