Colombia and NATO reached a partnership deal in May 2017 following the conclusion of the peace accord with the rebel movement FARC, now a political party.

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos gives a speech to the nation in Bogota, Colombia on May 25, 2018.
Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos gives a speech to the nation in Bogota, Colombia on May 25, 2018. (Reuters)

 Colombia will next week formally become the first Latin American "global partner" of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), President Juan Manuel Santos announced on Friday.

Santos, who won the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end a half-century of armed conflict with the former rebel movement FARC, said the move would improve Colombia's image on the world stage.

"We will formalise 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," the president said in a televised address.

In addition to Colombia, NATO lists Afghanistan, Australia, Iraq, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mongolia, New Zealand and Pakistan as "partners across the globe" or simply "global partners."

Partnership deal

Each country "has developed an Individual Partnership Cooperation Program" with the 29-country US-led alliance, with many contributing actively to NATO missions.

Colombia and NATO reached a partnership deal in May 2017 following the conclusion of the peace accord with FARC, now a political party.

According to NATO's website areas of cooperation include cyber security, maritime security, terrorism and its links to organised crime, as well as building the capacities and capabilities of the Colombian armed forces.

Source: AFP