Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Chile, Argentina Form Joint Peacekeeping Force

The defense ministers of Chile and Argentina announced Oct. 12 that the two countries forged a peacekeeping force to serve UN missions. The "Southern Cross" force will become operational in about a year. The combination is on a scale unprecedented for Latin America, and perhaps the world. Meanwhile, Argentina is acquiring designs from Chile's Asmar shipyard to build offshore patrol boats. Those plans are a modification of the Fassmer OPVs Asmar is building under licence from Abeking & Rasmussen of Germany. The news marks new milestones in an ongoing rapprochment between Chile and Argentina. Thirty year ago, the two nearly went to war over the Beagle Islands. But in recent years, both nations have solved border disputes, increased trade and tightened military ties.

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