US, Peru to update 60-year-old defence cooperation accord
LIMA (REUTERS) - The United States and Peru decided on Saturday to renegotiate a 60-year-old defence cooperation agreement between the two countries as Washington seeks to deepen security ties with Latin America, after a decade focused on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said updating the 1952 bilateral defence agreement with Peru would help the two countries work more closely on issues of mutual concern, from terrorism and drug trafficking to response to natural disasters.
The decision is part of a new US defence strategy approved earlier this year that shifts strategic focus to the Asia-Pacific region, while deepening training and assistance to partner nations to help them provide for their own defence.
"The principle thrust of our... new defence strategy is aimed at reaching out and developing partnerships and alliances throughout the world and particularly in this region," Mr Panetta said on Saturday after meeting Peruvian President Ollanta Humala.