Mattis to travel to South America to meet defense officials

Mattis to travel to South America to meet defense officials
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Defense Secretary James Mattis will leave Sunday to travel to South America for the first time to underscore the Pentagon’s “strong defense ties” with four nations.

“The White House declared 2018 the ‘Year of the Americas,’ and the Secretary's trip underscores the Department's strong defense ties with Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Colombia,” the Pentagon said in a statement Thursday announcing the trip. “These relationships are critical to a collaborative, prosperous and secure Western hemisphere.”

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Mattis will first stop in Brazil to meet with senior officials and defense leaders. He will also speak at the country's war college, the Escola Superior de Guerra, and visit the national monument to Brazilian service members killed during World War II.

He will then travel to Argentina “where he will meet with senior defense officials to discuss defense issues of mutual interest.”

Mattis will next visit Chile “to exchange strategic perspectives with senior officials.”

He will conclude his trip in Colombia, “where he will meet members of the newly elected administration.”