Argentine Defense Minister Jorge Taiana Monday welcomed his Bolivian counterpart Edmundo Novillo Aguilar in Buenos Aires. During the meeting, an agreement to create the so-called “Argentine-Bolivian Working Group” was signed.
The treaty seeks to improve ties in technical cooperation while strengthening bilateral relations between the armed forces of both countries. Taiana explained the purpose was to deepen a historical relationship between Argentina and Bolivia and advance in integration in a broader sense.
We are convinced that in some things we have very concrete opportunities to grow for mutual benefit. We have talked with Minister Novillo about several of these points that have to do with aircraft repair, with the purchase of materials, among other things, Taiana told Télam.
Hoy recibí al ministro de Defensa de Bolivia, Edmundo Novillo Aguilar, para avanzar en el fortalecimiento de una agenda bilateral en materia de Defensa.— Jorge Taiana (@JorgeTaiana) May 23, 2022
Firmamos un acuerdo de cooperación entre ambos Ministerios con eje en el desarrollo de la producción para la Defensa. pic.twitter.com/4KStBZLyYU
The agreement will deepen training and cooperation in addition to scientific, technological and industrial development.
Today I welcomed the Minister of Defense of Bolivia, Edmundo Novillo Aguilar, to advance in the strengthening of a bilateral agenda on defense matters, Taiana posted on Twitter.
We signed a cooperation agreement between both Ministries focused on the development of production for Defense, he added.
The document also provides for stronger mechanisms of mutual assistance in case of emergencies and disasters, as well as for the cultural exchange on defense-related issues.
Novillo Aguilar said that by constitutional mandate it was essential to generate spaces of integration with brotherly peoples for the development of security, defense and development of the Bolivian Armed Forces. We have a historical relationship with Argentina, he added.
The Bolivian official highlighted Argentina's arms industry and aircraft maintenance capabilities, from which his country will now benefit as per the new deal. The Bolivian was to visit the facilities of Fabricaciones Militares, the Tandanor-Cinar shipyard and the Argentine Aircraft Factory (FAdeA).
According to Taiana, the agreement is of utmost importance because it would move from a stage of regional fragmentation under former President Mauricio Macri a stage of recomposition and regrouping.
The possibility of rebuilding integration is a very important element, if we compare it with the past it is a qualitative leap, Taiana stressed.
The Bolivian minister also admitted that Argentina's assistance was also key to reducing forest fires and remarked that this experience allowed them to form a Joint Command that is now prepared to drastically reduce the fires that have caused a lot of damage in the Santa Cruz de la Sierra region.
These are clear proofs of integration between brotherly peoples and both ministries. I am grateful for the predisposition and goodwill of our brothers and of their Minister of Defense, who this morning has already stated that there is total predisposition to move forward in these aspects, the Bolivian official went on.
Taiana made it clear that all our production and service capacities of the productive, scientific, technological and innovation system of the Argentine defense industrial apparatus were at Bolivia's disposal. He also praised the National Defense Fund (Fondef) which has allowed Argentina to move forward with updating its armed forces from a technical perspective.
Never before have the Armed Forces had a specific Fund destined to their re-equipment, and which, in addition, is a multiplier of the economy and generates jobs for the productive apparatus of the national defense industry, Taiana said.
The Fondef forces us to think about our own productive and technological developments; hence, we need partners that add their comparative advantages; partners that contribute to generate more robust economies of which we dream to build a South American Defense production identity.