Brazil and Colombia agreed on a cooperation and defense agreement aimed at controlling the one thousand mile lawless common border which is regularly used by drugs and arms dealers as well as the cocaine-funded FARC rebel group.
However Uribe said Colombia will join the pact only after receiving assurances that the FARC rebels fighting a four-decade-old insurgency in the country, will never be allowed to join the pact, although other governments may participate in the future.
"Given this understanding, Colombia has decided to join the agreement," said Uribe, whose popularity has shot up to over 90% following the July 2 military rescue of FARC hostage Ingrid Betancourt, a French-Colombian politician and a group of fourteen Colombian policemen and soldiers, some of them kidnapped 10 years ago.
The agreement sets the stage for cooperation in military training, intelligence and weapons procurement. It aims to help both sides police the border between Brazil and Colombia.
Colombia is concerned that the Brazilian initiative could involve countries which support or have an inclination to consider the FARC rebels a liberation movement, and not terrorists as they have been defined by the United States, European Union and Brazil.
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