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Ex Chilean president says relations with Ecuador and Argentina deteriorating

Wednesday, June 23rd 2010 - 03:32 UTC
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Eduardo Frei, lost to President Sebastian Piñera last December Eduardo Frei, lost to President Sebastian Piñera last December

The foreign policy of Chilean President Sebastian Piñera was criticized last weekend by one of his predecessors.

Eduardo Frei, who was president of Chile from 1994 to 2000 and who ran in the most recent presidential election, came down on what he said was the deterioration of the country’s relationship with Ecuador, as well as the government’s handling of Campo del Hielo Sur, an ice field which is on the border of Chile and Argentina.

Ecuador has traditionally been a friend of Chile, a relationship which is based on the conflicts that both countries have had with Peru. However, Frei said that the relationship between the two had weakened somewhat.

“I’m very worried about Chile’s international relations,” said the former president. “The situation with Ecuador has deteriorated a lot, despite the fact that Ecuador was always a friend of Chile and has always supported us.”

Frei said Chile has not put much effort into its relationship with the Andean nation, referencing the fact that despite Ecuador playing a vital role in Chile’s ongoing maritime border dispute with Peru, the Foreign Ministry did not give instructions to former president Michelle Bachelet or Sen. Jorge Pizarro on their recent visit to Ecuador’s capital, Quito.

Speaking of Campo del Hielo Sur, Frei criticized Piñera’s actions when Argentina asked Chile to resume work on the demarcation of the border in the region.

“The president approached this issue in a way that was not correct, an issue that is managed on a technical level, and an issue for which there is an agreement that was signed 10 years ago,” Frei said.

“In other words, be careful with international relations. These things are not to be handled in this way.”

The former president’s criticisms, however, were rejected by politicians from the Alianza, who helped form Piñera’s coalition government.

Hernán Larraín, senator and president of the House’s Commission of International Relations, said, “Frei has forgotten that he lost in the elections. He should have a little bit more modesty in regards to these issues and be quiet, above all regarding state issues.”

Larraín added that “in international issues we need unity. What Frei is doing is contrary to Chile’s traditions”.

UDI senator Juan Antonio Coloma also criticized Frei’s comments. He said that Alianza had always supported the foreign policy of the Concertación, Chile’s center-left coalition, when it was in power, and that Frei’s actions made him “a negative leader”.

By Alia Alhafny – Santiago Times

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

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  • Gianni

    but he is one of the worst president he should stay in home

    Jun 23rd, 2010 - 05:11 pm 0
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