Chilean president-elect Gabriel Boris announced he contacted president Sebastián Piñera to thank him for the invitation to attend the January 26/27 Prosur and Pacific Alliance summits in Colombia, --the current head of government last overseas trip--, but will not join him.
I personally contacted the president to tell him I will not be attending the summits to which he has politely invited me. After considering the situation over the weekend and consulting the experts in my team, that is my decision. I must underline that State policies and international relations are tremendously relevant to address regarding all those issues that are of interest for the country, so I must emphasize that my decision under no circumstances must be understood as a snub to President Piñera, pointed out the incoming president from his headquarters or Little Moneda, as the media refers to.
I believe our priorities are nowhere, in Chile, in conforming the different areas of the team that will support my administration, and yes one of our foreign policy priorities will be the Pacific Alliance, and to that respect, I have been in contact with Mexico's Manuel Lopez Obrador, I have spoken with Colombian President Ivan Duque, and talked with the Peruvian foreign ministry, added Boric.
Regarding the Prosur summit (created to combat Unasur), the elected president described it as an agenda of president Piñera, in his own right which we respect. However when we take office we will develop our own regional and global agenda, the pandemic, climate change situation, migratory crisis and most particularly economic cooperation and strengthening democracy.
And I have also suggested that this kind of issues, are important to talk them personally and not through the media, to avoid debates that can harm the image of the country, and this is something I have humbly requested from president Piñera.
However pressed by the media Boric said that Prosur was a kind of personal agenda of Piñera, but on the global vision, the Pacific Alliance has been a great achievement and we are determined to strengthen the initiative and we will continue to talk with member countries and I take the opportunity to send the presidents and their representatives my warmest greetings, so that they may be known that we have the greatest willingness to continue collaborating.
About the incoming president's first overseas visit, which for Chile traditionally has been Argentina, Boric said he and his team are assessing the issue but he will keep to the republican traditions of the country. Likewise, if Chile will return to Unasur (and abandon Prosur), Boric said it was under consideration but a country can't be changing its international standing every four years. This is not serious, we are assessing the situation and when the time comes I will make it public, concluded the elected president who anticipated he was flying to Punta Arenas, his hometown.
Boric earlier on Monday continued with his round of visits to former Chilean presidents, this time with Christian democrat Eduardo Frei. The meeting at Fei's residence took more than two hours and follows on similar visits to Socialists Michelle Bachelet and Ricardo Lagos.