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Colombia envoy welcomes Canadian military aid

OTTAWA - Colombia's ambassador to Canada says the federal government's plan to sell military hardware to his country will lead to further stability and growth.

But a conflict prevention expert based in the South American country says Canada should insist that human rights monitoring accompany any future sales of assault rifles or armoured vehicles to Colombia.

A government notice has amended the Automatic Firearms Country Control List (AFCCL) to create "new market opportunities" for Canadian companies to sell military equipment to the Colombian military.

Ambassador Nicolas Lloreda says his country has benefited from the military support it has been receiving since the late 1990s from the United States and is exploring similar opportunities with Canada.

Javier Ciurlizza, of the International Crisis Group, says there's nothing inherently wrong with Canada doing business with the Colombian military, but it should also be supporting efforts to monitor for human rights violations.

Colombia is in the process of trying to formally end its 49-year-old civil war through on-going negotiations with leftist rebels.

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