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Brazil, Colombia discuss creation of South American Defense Council
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09:50, April 29, 2008

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Colombian Foreign Minister Fernando Araujo and visiting Brazilian Defense Minister Nelson Jobim Monday discussed Brazil's proposal to create a South American Defense Council, government officials said.

Jobim arrived Monday in the Colombian capital Bogota to meet with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and other officials. He met Araujo at the San Carlos Palace, headquarters of Colombia's Foreign Ministry.

This proposal for creating a defense council in the region was put forward by Jobim.

Jobim said he would expound the initiative to Uribe, adding he expects the council, which will take care of joint military exercises and common defense policies, to be officially established on May 3.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva had expressed support for the establishment of the council, saying that South America would not have enough power in multilateral negotiations if only one or two countries represent the region in the UN Security Council by the system of rotation.

Jobim also mentioned the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia(FARC), saying: "In Brazil, we do not fear the FARC's penetration; if the FARC enters Brazil they will be attacked with bullets."

Uribe's government fights guerrilla groups with support from the United States, and the rebels sometimes flee Colombia to neighboring countries.

Jobim said some 21,000 troops are safeguarding the Colombian-Brazilian border to avoid Colombian guerrilla groups from entering into Brazil.


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