Chile and Peru’s new love affair continues

Chile's and Peru's Foreign Ministers Foxley and Garcia Belaunde

enlargeChile’s and Peru’s Foreign Ministers Foxley and Garcia Belaunde say they turned a historic page
(Photo: EFE)

(LIP-wb) — Chilean Foreign Minister Alexander Foxley and his Peruvian counterpart Jose Antonio Garcia Belaúnde said in Santiago today they are both committed to create a historic turn in their commercial and political bonding and to leave the old tensions between both countries behind.

The ministers discussed their bilateral agenda and installed the Peruvian-Chilean Council of Social Integration (CIS) with the task to design policies of social protection.

“We are in a new phase in our relations. We want to make a historic change. We are turning the page and together we are looking towards the 21st century, projecting ourselves towards the rest of the world”, Foxley stated after the ceremony.

Garcia Belaúnde said that both countries “are in a process of a qualitative and positive change in their relations”, which, according to him, “is something that will last for a long time".

The Peruvian Foreign Minister arrived in Santiago together with a consortium of businessmen, industrialists, and the Ministers of Health, Woman, Labor and Education who, together with their Chilean counterparts, formed the new CIS.

The Council has the objective to strengthen the cooperation between the social ministries of both nations and to coordinate policies that will benefit emigrants.

The Chilean representatives asked Peruvian businesses and industries to invest in Chile and remembered that Chilean investments in Peru surpass US$ 4.0 billion.

As a first measure, Peruvian and other immigrants who live in extreme poverty in Chile will be integrated in Chile’s social security system, announced Minister for Planning and Cooperation, Clarisa Hardy.

Hardy advanced the social protection system will include about 90,000 mainly Peruvian, Bolivian and Argentine immigrants lacking medical attention.

The minister indicated that the social coverage is “the stamp” of Michelle Bachelet’s government, reason why a special survey will be conducted during the next days among three million people living in poverty in order to identify and register foreigners.

Hardy emphasized that the Chilean Government proposed an allocation of US$ 28 billion for the 2007 budget, of which 68 percent will be destined to social costs.