Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III’s Meeting With Colombian Minister of National Defense Iván Velásquez

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Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder provided the following readout:  
 
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III hosted Colombian Minister of National Defense Iván Velásquez for a bilateral meeting at the Pentagon to underscore the strong U.S.-Colombia defense relationship. 
 
Secretary Austin expressed his appreciation for Colombia’s contributions to international and regional security as a Major Non-NATO Ally of the United States and as a NATO Global Partner. The leaders discussed their shared interest in deepening cooperation on strategic issues including international security cooperation, counternarcotics, and peace agreement implementation. They also affirmed the importance of working together to strengthen transparency and respect for human rights. 
 
Secretary Austin and Minister Velásquez expressed their appreciation for the U.S. and Colombian defense and medical personnel who contributed to the successful visit of the USNS COMFORT hospital ship from November 11 to 19. The visit was part of the USNS COMFORT’s Continuing Promise 2022 humanitarian mission, which provided medical services, community relations projects, and training on a range of topics including Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief and Women, Peace and Security.

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