Monday, October 18th 2010 - 04:00 UTC

Chile and Britain’s friendship has “deep historical roots”, says President Piñera

Chile and Britain’s friendship has deep historical roots and is projected into the future, said Chilean president Sebastian Piñera in London who on Monday is scheduled to meet PM David Cameron and later a trip to Buckingham palace for an audience with the Queen.

President Piñera with Sir Alex Ferguson (L)

Piñera arrived in London Saturday night and on Sunday visited the British Museum and Churchill War Rooms.

“England is a key ally in Europe and I hope we will be able to strengthen our ties”, said the Chilean president.

Speaking ahead of his meeting with the PM he said “With David Cameron we share the same values, the same views and therefore, we are looking forward to that meeting”.

When asked about Chile’s position following on Argentina’s protests about military exercises in the Falklands Piñera was emphatic: “friendship between England and Chile is one with deep historic roots and with projections into the future; we have excellent relations with England from the time of our independence”.

Piñera added that “I invite you to recall that Bernardo O’Higgins (Chile’s national hero) studied and lived in England and the head of our first naval squadron who on two times sunk the Spanish fleet was Thomas Cochrane, who was also English”.

“Let us hope that from this visit we can achieve a greater integration, a greater collaboration between a very small country and very distant, with Europe. We share the most important, values, principles and a commitment to make the future a good future for the Europeans and for the Chileans”, he added.

Piñera who will also be visiting France and Germany is travelling with First Lady Cecilia Morel and ministers of Foreign Affairs and Economy, Alfredo Moreno and Juan Andrés Fontaine. The delegation also includes members of Congress and special guests.
Since arriving in London Piñera has received extensive coverage because of the successful rescue of the 33 miners.

The Chilean president used the words “commitment, courage, faith, hope and unity” to describe the 70 days operation.

“We did it because we were united; we did it because we were convinced, and did it because we would never leave anyone behind” adding “that’s a very good principle for Chile and for the world”.

On Sunday afternoon Piñera met with the manager and coach of Manchester United, the English soccer team that has invited the 33 rescued miners to attend a match at Old Strafford.

During the meeting presents were exchanged and President Piñera gave the club a copy of the August 22 message sent by the miners when they were first contacted; a video of some of the most dramatic moments, a piece of rock from the mine and a book on the Atacama Desert where the San Jose Mine is located.

On Monday when he meets PM Cameron and later the Queen, Piñera will also present them with a piece of rock from 700 metres underground.

 

10 comments Feed

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1 Hoytred (#) Oct 18th, 2010 - 04:32 am Report abuse
” ... When asked about Chile’s position following on Argentina’s protests about military exercises in the Falklands Piñera was emphatic: “friendship between England and Chile is one with deep historic roots and with projections into the future; we have excellent relations with England from the time of our independence ..... ”

Don't ya just love politicians :-)
2 xbarilox (#) Oct 18th, 2010 - 05:04 am Report abuse
I thought you did it because Pinochet was a dictator and a well known violator of human rights, just like Videla and others jewels, anyway. HHRR are awesome, don't ya think?
3 CheGuevara (#) Oct 18th, 2010 - 08:23 am Report abuse
Chileans always playing the wrong cards in their endless, futile pursuit of superiority over Argentina. The most deeply rooted sentiment in Chile's history is envy, something the Brits will always try to exploit. Poor saps.

Shame on you Mercopress for embarrassing Chile with an article like this.
4 stick up your junta (#) Oct 18th, 2010 - 08:46 am Report abuse
The most deeply rooted sentiment in Chile's history is envy

deliciously ironic from a Argie :-)
5 xbarilox (#) Oct 18th, 2010 - 09:09 am Report abuse
CheGuevara #3 That's true. Enough said. Chile has always been an obedient little poodle “am I doing it right Master? Am I doing it right?” lol They will always be what they have always been.
6 Rhaurie-Craughwell (#) Oct 18th, 2010 - 10:44 am Report abuse
Che and Xbaril, if Chile is such a non-player and a futile country then why does this futile little country warrant such a derogatory response, it reminds me of a phrase in the Melian Dialogue between the Athenians and the Melians:

“Your hatred of us is evidence of our power”

Does somebody fear a little healthy competition from the neighbours?
7 geoff (#) Oct 18th, 2010 - 12:22 pm Report abuse
Kind words from President Pinera but someone should whisper in his ear-its BRITAIN or the UK not ENGLAND. The foreign Office really needs to conduct a thorough information blitz via the UK's Diplomatic service to educate against this oft repeated and thoroughly offensive(to loyal Scots,Welsh and Irish) mistake
8 bigron (#) Oct 18th, 2010 - 04:00 pm Report abuse
What has Chile got to be jealous about? Superior government, honest institutions and a country that thrived since the fall of military rules that both Argentines as well as Chileans welcomed for many years. A strip of marginal and arid land out performs Argentina significantly - Argentines are jealous and their government is a bunch of pseudo-terrorist who are crooked lying cheats - you will never get the Falklands back whilst Her Majesty's subject reside on the Islands - you will not inflict corrupt officialdom and a despicable government on our peoples that even most Argentines despise. Get your own house in order Argentines and face the facts. The truth is, although you have tried to write us out your history, Argentina became the 5 largest economy because of our support and investment and your national hero San Martin (a most honourable Argentine who left you preferring self-imposed exile because of your 'leaders' terrible duplicity) achieved his aims with British support as we sought to save the Spanish Crown and Europe from the Frogs and later made sure that a penniless Ferdinand VII could not get a foothold in the Americas again - you people do not even know your own history and worse, you attack your neighbours and a country and peoples who had great affection for Argentina - shame on you.
9 CheGuevara (#) Oct 18th, 2010 - 07:40 pm Report abuse
“A strip of marginal and arid land out performs Argentina significantly” How exactly did you come to this expert assessment? If you don't mind my asking.

We have nothing to fear from Chile, I was simply pointing out the obvious fact that Chile has always maintained a feeling of discontent and resentment towards Argentina. Because of its size and because of their land being mostly rock. I've seen maps of Chile depicting Tierra Del Fuego as part of Chile, they even have laws against Argentines buying land in Chile (though no one in its right mind would buy Chilean land over Argentine land). They have unrealistic expectations and a lousy attitude towards Argentina, a distinction not shared with any other country in South America.

Siding with England will never pay off, will never improve relations, they're only going backwards.
10 briton (#) Oct 18th, 2010 - 10:33 pm Report abuse
yes but siding with argentina, might get them invaded, or attact, or worse still,,, na the uk, is much better for them chilians

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