Peru, Colombia Hold First Binational Cabinet Meeting

Humala and Santos of Colombia-Iquitos

President Santos of Colombia and President Humala on the shores of the Amazon in Iquitos.

President Ollanta Humala and his Colombian counterpart, Juan Manuel Santos, held a first binational cabinet meeting aimed at deepening ties between Peru and Colombia.

The South American leaders signed 11 agreements that are intended to facilitate development work along their border region, daily El Comercio reported.

The meeting was held in Iquitos, capital of Peru’s Loreto region, which borders with Colombia.

“Colombia and Peru belong to a dynamic block like the Pacific Alliance, along with Chile and Mexico,” said Humala. “But that isn’t enough to say that the two brotherly people have fulfilled their expectations.”

“That’s why we came to the conclusion to hold the cabinet meeting, which should be held once a year, in which we’ll discuss issues such as border development,” Peru’s president said.

In addition to development, Humala said that Peru and Colombia would also work together on security and defense along their shared border, which is under heavy influence of drug trafficking.

Humala said that the countries would increase ties between intelligence in order to tackle drug trafficking, as well as illegal mining and logging in the border regions.

Earlier in Lima, Foreign Relations minister Gonzalo Gutierrez said that binational cooperation to tackle drug trafficking would include sharing intelligence and joint police operations as well as joint financial intelligence investigations.

Gutierrez also said that both countries would work jointly in the social development of 171 communities on the borders of both countries, through joint efforts by both the Peruvian and Colombian Navy.  Peru’s Navy operates coast guard vessels in the Loreto region, providing medical services to the villages scattered along the network of rivers.

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