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Colombia heads toward NATO membership
by Staff Writers
Bogota (AFP) June 1, 2013


Colombia's defense ministry later this month will sign a cooperation agreement with NATO, in hopes of joining the international military alliance, President Juan Manuel Santos said Saturday.

"In June, NATO will sign an agreement with the Colombian government, with the Defense Ministry, to start a process of rapprochement and cooperation, with an eye toward also joining that organization," Santos said at a military promotion ceremony.

Santos said the army could become an international player if his government can bring off a peace deal as it is trying to do, with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). It is Latin America's longest-running insurgency.

"If we can achieve peace, the army will be in a place where it will be able to distinguish itself internationally as well. We are already doing it on many fronts," he said.

The more than four-decade conflict that has left 600,000 people dead and 15,000 missing.

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China distances itself from claim it owns Okinawa
Singapore (AFP) June 02, 2013
A top Chinese general on Sunday sought to distance the country from claims by some of its scholars that the Ryukyu Islands, which include Okinawa, do not belong to Japan. Lieutenant General Qi Jianguo, deputy chief of staff of the People's Liberation Army, told a security conference in Singapore that the scholars' views did not represent the official position. The People's Daily, China's ... read more


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