Puricelli praises defence links with Chile and support for Argentine Malvinas claim
Relations with Chile are an example of the fabulous transformation of regional politics in the last three decades, said Argentine Defence minister Arturo Puricelli during a conference at the Chilean military school.
Puricelli also thanked Chilean support for the Argentine sovereignty claim over the Malvinas and Santiago’s commitment to keep the region and the South Atlantic as a “zone of peace”.
“Our defence policy gives priority to Latinamerican relations, particularly in South America which have become institutionalized with the creation of the Union of South American Nations, Unasur”, said Puricelli addressing over a thousand officials, officers and cadets from Chile’s Defence ministry and three services at the Bernardo O’Higgins military academy.
Puricelli arrived in Chile for the Monday conference on an invitation from his peer Andres Allamand.
The minister underlined the advances in regional integration in the field of defence and gave the “Argentine vision” of such a process specifically mentioning Unasur, “which undoubtedly has become the utmost expression of the new multilateralism which progressively and institutionally consolidates the South American space”.
Puricelli also talked about the “great steps forward” in the bilateral relation with Chile which is clearly evident in a vast “defence agenda”.
“The relation between Argentina and Chile is probably the best example of the fabulous transformation experienced by regional politics in the last thirty years”, said the Argentine minister.
Further on in his speech Puricelli praised the efforts from South American countries “to maintain the region and the South Atlantic as a zone of peace” and reaffirmed Argentina’s appreciation for Chilean support in the Falklands/Malvinas sovereignty dispute.
Allamand and Puricelli also held a working meeting and went over several aspects of the bilateral agenda in defence issues such as the two countries participation in the UN Haiti peace keeping and reconstruction mission.
Special attention was given to the Southern Cross Combined Peace Force on which both countries have been working for the last five years and which is extensive to the three services.
The Chilean minister confirmed that he would be attending the first Southern Cross I combined military exercise that will be taking place the first week of November in Bahia Blanca.
On Tuesday Puricelli and the Argentine delegation are scheduled to visit the Chilean military base of Fuerte Baqueano in the Atacama Desert, considered the country’s major defence and military compound.