Santo Domingo – U.S. Ambassador, James Brewster, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Andres Navarro, signed an agreement on the Status of U.S. Personnel temporarily present in the Dominican Republic in connection with visits, training, exercises, humanitarian activities, and other activities as mutually agreed between the United States and Dominican Republic. Also attending the signing ceremony was General John Kelly, Commander of the United States Southern Command, and Lieutenant General Maximo William Munoz Delgado, Minister of Defense.
“This agreement strengthens our existing, close partnership; it streamlines our planning for future military exercises and security cooperation activities; it will provide additional assistance to the Dominican security forces to counter illicit trafficking; and it opens up new possibilities for even greater partnership,” said Ambassador Brewster at the signing. During the ceremony he announced that in September 2015 the Dominican Republic will host Exercise CONTINUING PROMISE, which includes the visit to Santo Domingo of the United States hospital ship USNS COMFORT. The ship has a crew of almost 1300 specialists who provide medical services for disaster relief and humanitarian operations worldwide. During its visit, the COMFORT will work with the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Health to provide a wide variety of medical treatment to thousands of Dominicans.
The language of the agreement was confirmed in September of 2014 after negotiation between delegations of technical experts from both governments. The United States delegation was comprised of attorneys from the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Defense. The Dominican delegation included experts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defense, and other agencies.