Defense in the Caribbean Region strengthens ties with Columbia

October 2, 202  -0n September 28, 2023 -The navy patrol ship in the Dutch Caribbean Region, Zr.Ms. Groningen, last week rendered a visit to Cartagena in Columbia. This harbor visit was in the light of preparing joint maritime exercises and thus strengthening cooperation in the field of security in the Caribbean Region.

The Dutch Navy ship Zr.Ms. Groningen and the Columbian Navy ship ARC Victoria together sailed out of the harbor of Cartagena on Thursday September 21.  The two ships conducted maritime exercises on the open sea, such as testing basic communication skills and maneuvering exercises. It is the first time in a long time that a Dutch and a Columbian Marine ship operated together with such intensity.

The Commander of the Navy in the Caribbean Region, Commander Walter Hansen, previous to the exercises, organized a reception on board of the patrol ship. The guests formed a diverse group from the Columbian Marine as well as from the local authorities and companies, and also from representatives from the Dutch business community, and the Dutch community in Cartagena as well. Besides that, Commander Hansen could get acquainted with the crew of the patrol ship.

Columbia is an important safety partner of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean Region. Cross-border crime, including drug smuggling, has a highly destabilizing and undermining effect on countries in the Caribbean Region. Intensive collaboration between Columbia and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, contributes to the promotion of international security and stability in the region, which is one of the three main tasks of Defense.

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