US urges Colombia to sustain ties

Colombia asked to take "appropriate steps" after military pact ruled unconstitutional.

    The deal signed in October 2009 grants the US military access to Colombian bases [AFP]

    "There can be, you know, actions taken by the executive or by the legislative branch to overcome, you know, the questions that have been raised," Crowley said.

    Military pact

    The US has sought to allay Latin American concerns about the military pact by insisting that it is not aimed at third countries.

    The agreement, it says, which limits the number of US military personnel in Colombia to 800 and the number of US civilian contractors to 600, is aimed at fostering bilateral cooperation against drug trafficking, illegal armed groups and terrorism.

    Charles Luoma-Overstreet, another US state department official, told AFP that the close US-Colombian defence cooperation will continue under previously existing agreements.

    The US has provided Colombia, its most important ally in South America, more than $6bn in aid over the past decade to combat drug trafficking and leftist guerrillas under a programme known as Plan Colombia.

    At the end of last year, the US congress approved 46 million dollars to refurbish Colombia's Palanquero base, one of the seven included under the agreement.

    But congress made it clear it was not authorising the establishment of a permanent US base on Colombian territory.

    SOURCE: Agencies


     How Britain Destroyed the Palestinian Homeland

    How Britain Destroyed the Palestinian Homeland

    Ninety-nine years since Balfour's "promise", Palestinians insist that their rights in Palestine cannot be dismissed.

    Afghan asylum seekers resort to sex work in Athens

    Afghan asylum seekers resort to sex work in Athens

    In the rundown Pedion Areos Park, older men walk slowly by young asylum seekers before agreeing on a price for sex.

    Profile: Osama bin Laden

    Profile: Osama bin Laden

    The story of a most-wanted fugitive and billionaire.