- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 16, 2018

The U.S. military will help provide security later this year for a key G-20 summit in Argentina, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis said Wednesday, casting the gathering as a key example of deepening ties between the two nations.

Speaking to reporters while traveling to Santiago, Mr. Mattis — who made his first trip to South America this week with stops in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and elsewhere — said the U.S. armed forces will offer whatever help it can to secure the Group of 20 summit, which begins Nov. 30 in Buenos Aires.

“Point by point, they asked for [how] we will be able to support them as they have requested. … If we have it, we can do it,” he said. “We are going to support them on that.”

Mr. Mattis did not offer specifics on exactly what type of military assistance the U.S will offer. Telesur, a Latin American TV network, reported that the U.S. is expected to offer supersonic planes, an aircraft carrier equipped with missiles, radars, and cyberdefense equipment.

The G-20 summit will bring together the leaders of the U.S., China, France, Germany, India, Russia, the U.K. and other global leaders.

The Trump administration has cast Argentina’s role as G-20 host as an example of its growing influence around the world.

“The United States appreciates Argentina’s growing role on the global stage, illustrated by your hosting the G-20 summit this summer here in Buenos Aires,” Mr. Mattis said in brief remarks Wednesday with his Argentine counterpart.

Security concerns in Latin America have grown in recent days following a drone attack against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro earlier this month.

• Ben Wolfgang can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

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