Colombia has become the third Latin American country to be designated as a ‘major non-NATO ally’ (MNNA) by the United States. The other two countries are Brazil and Argentina.
The designation does not provide the same security guarantee as a member of the NATO alliance, yet it opens up new channels for Colombia to widen cooperation with the United States in the areas of defense as well as trade, stated the US government.
As a non-NATO ally, Colombia can now seek funding to procure explosives detection devices and other counter-terrorism research and development projects, in addition to military training.
Analysts say the designation is aimed at making peace with Colombian leaders, who are worried over Russia’s military assistance to Venezuela.
Colombia shares a long and porous border with Venezuela, with thousands of the latter’s citizens living as refugees in its territory.
The Andean country is concerned about a possible “foreign interference” in its territory, according to US media reports.
Brazil received this designation when Donald Trump was the US President.
There are 17 countries designated as MNNA so far, and the list includes the likes of Afghanistan and Pakistan.