Argentina Takes First Steps Toward Becoming ‘Global Partner’ With NATO

Colombia is currently the only Latin American country that counts itself one of NATO’s so-called ‘global partners.’

AP/Virginia Mayo
An empty flagpole awaits the flag of Finland outside NATO headquarters at Brussels, April 3, 2023. AP/Virginia Mayo

Argentina is taking its first steps towards cooperating more formally with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a shift towards closer relations with America under President Javier Milei.

“It is a great pleasure to welcome Defence Minister Petri to NATO Headquarters,” NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană said in a statement. “Argentina plays an important role in Latin America, and I welcome today’s request to explore becoming a NATO partner.”

Mr. Geoană added that “NATO works with a range of countries around the world to promote peace and stability. Closer political and practical cooperation could benefit us both.” 

Colombia is currently the only Latin American country that counts itself one of NATO’s so-called “global partners,” which implies increased political and military ties — up to and including military exercises — with the organization and its full members.

According to NATO, Mr. Geoană and Argentina’s defense minister, Luis Petri, discussed issues of security in Europe and Latin America and Argentina’s assistance to Ukraine.

In a statement posted to X, Mr. Petri said the initiative to embrace NATO came at the direct behest of Mr. Milei. 

“We reaffirm our commitment to countries that embrace freedom and the values ​​of democracy, in the face of authoritarianism and autocracies worldwide,” Mr. Petri said. “Being global partners of NATO implies receiving optimal training for our armed forces, access to equipment and information, support in cyber defense, cooperation for high-level strategic dialogue on world events and the priorities of an Argentina integrated into liberal democracies. of the world.”

The most recent country to join NATO was Sweden, which joined in March. Since the organization was founded in 1949, membership has swelled to 32 members from 12. Among the organization’s other global partners are — besides Colombia — Afghanistan, Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, and Pakistan.

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