Cohen Strengthens Ties With Argentina, Chile
By Linda D. Kozaryn
American Forces Press Service
MANAUS, Brazil, Oct. 18, 2000 U.S. service members can expect more contact with the Argentine and Chilean military in the future because of agreements signed here Oct. 17.
Defense Secretary William S. Cohen strengthened U.S. ties with the two South American nations during the 25-nation Defense Ministerial of the Americas here. Prior to the ministerial's opening ceremony Oct. 17, Cohen met with his Argentine and Chilean counterparts.
Defense Secretary William S. Cohen signs a new U.S.-Chilean agreement with Chilean Defense Minister Mario Fernandez Baeza (right). The acquisition and cross-servicing pact was signed Oct. 17 in Manaus, Brazil, at the fourth annual Defense Ministerial of the Americas. Photo by Linda D. Kozaryn.
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Cohen and Argentine Defense Minister Ricardo Lopez Murphy signed an updated agreement concerning the exchange of research and development information. It allows the two nations to share sensitive information on a wide range of subjects including arms programs, acquisition and terrorism, a senior U.S. defense official said.
Cohen also signed a new acquisition and cross-servicing agreement with Chilean Defense Minister Mario Fernandez Baeza. It will facilitate the exchange of nonlethal equipment, increase cooperation in the field and reduce the paperwork involved, Cohen said. It will enhance both nations' ability to engage in peacekeeping missions more effectively, he added.
The new U.S.-Chile agreement allows the two militaries to exchange goods and services such as oil at sea or shipyard services, the senior U.S. official said. "It allows them to help resupply our Navy in distant ports," he said.
"We have these agreements with militaries all around the world," he explained. "This is just bringing Chile into the same category. It increases our abilities to work smoothly together."