Chile’s Piñera Vows to Strengthen Ties with Argentina

Source: I Love Chile

On Dec. 10, President Sebastián Piñera attended the inauguration ceremony for Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the President of Argentina, for her second term in office, pledging to strengthen the relationship between Argentina and Chile.

He stated that Chile’s main objective was “to have the best relationship with every country in the world, but particularly with our neighbors.”

Those present at the ceremony included presidents Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, Evo Morales of Bolivia, José Mujica of Uruguay and Fernando Lugo of Paraguay, among other dignitaries.

Although relations between the two countries have been a little bumpy, there has been no major direct conflict since the 1970s, which was a territorial conflict. Since the transitions to democracy in Chile in 1989 and Argentina in 1983, there has been greater economic integration, though Chile has had more of stable growth while Argentina has had ups and downs. Now, the two countries are the third largest importers for each other with a trade volume of US$5.76 billion in 2010.

In an interview with La Nacion of Argentina, Piñera said he has confidence in the second Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) summit which will take place in Chile in 2012, while stressing that the bloc was not an alliance against the U.S. and Canada.

He also warned that 2012 will be a tough financial year for the world in general. Though he has confidence that Latin America is better prepared for it than it could ever be, including that Chile that has a solid economy, fiscal balance and international reserves and will “prepare a contingency plan of reaction according to the magnitude of the crisis, taking internal measures that allow us to reduce the impact of the global crisis in our country.”

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