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Officers from the Guyana Defence Force and the Brazilian Armed Forces are currently engaged in discussions in the 18th Regional Meeting of Military Exchange which opened yesterday .

The local delegation is being headed by Commanding Officer of the 1 Infantry Battalion , Colonel George Lewis , while Brigadier General Jose’ Luiz Jaborandy Rodrigues , Commander of the First Jungle Infantry Brigade , is heading the six-member Brazilian team. Both Officers are responsible for border operations in their respective territories.

The meeting is being held under the theme, “Continued Friendship and Partnership towards Enhanced Border Security.”

Colonel Lewis, in welcome and introductory remarks, said he felt that the Officers’ prescence here is indicative of the importance that Brazil places on improving military co-operation with Guyana, as well as continued friendship between the two armies.

He further stated that Guyana and Brazil face common challenges to national security and noted that some of these challenges will be discussed with a view of coming up with possible solutions . He told his counterpart too, that the GDF is willing to assist its counterpart to overcome any security challenges it may face, as Brazil prepares to host the 2014 Football World Cup as well as Olympic Games. “General, I am sure that as we exchange information during our discussions and deliberations, common solutions will be found and additional areas of mutual co-operation will be identified between our two armies,” Col Lewis added.

He also pointed to the Takatu Bridge and the road link from Lethem to Georgetown which he said are achievements which both governments could be proud of, but noted that the additional security challenges which this posed for both militaries will also be discussed with a view to realising the common mission, of making both nations safe.

In brief and similar remarks, Brig General Rodrigues noted that his team is here to ‘join hands’ so that solutions to common problems could be arrived at. “... so we will raise our ideas and we would come out of this meeting strengthened as together we are strong,” he noted.

The Regional Military Exchange is held every two years and the host country is rotated. It is essential to the objective of strengthening relations and ties between the two militaries and improving border security.

The Guyana Defence Force and the Brazilian Armed Forces have enjoyed a fruitful relationship over the years, particularly in the area of training .