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Presidents Fernández and Boric discuss regional agenda

Thursday, April 6th 2023 - 10:55 UTC
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Meetings between presidents create complicity and affection, Boric told Fernández Meetings between presidents create complicity and affection, Boric told Fernández

Argentine President Alberto Fernández and his Chilean colleague Gabriel Boric discussed Wednesday in Santiago issues of bilateral and regional interest during an encounter to celebrate the 205h anniversary of the so-called Abrazo de Maipú (Maipú hug) between independence heroes José de San Martín and Bernardo O'Higgins.

Fernández insisted on the need to “recreate” the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), which Argentina rejoined a few days ago and of which Brazil also became a member this week.

“Unity is in our essence,” booth leaders said in a joint statement.

“The embrace of San Martín and O'Higgins is an embrace that unites us forever. The mountain range is not a wall that divides us, they are mountains that unite us. We cannot think of Argentina and Chile in a way that is not united. You all know that I am a Peronist. General Perón had already thought of Latin American integration through the ABC union: Argentina, Brazil, and Chile,” Fernández also said.

The Argentine President pointed out that he raised to Boric the need to “work together” to “recreate” Unasur, although he clarified that the regional organization must be adapted to “these times” and not be the bloc “we knew”.

“I feel an enormous love for Chile, I have an enormous appreciation for Chile for all that it has been perfecting and improving its democracy”, he said. ”On September 11, 1973, I marched through the streets of Buenos Aires against the coup of (Augusto) Pinochet against Salvador Allende“.

”On September 11 he (Boric) invited me to Chile and I will be here, paying homage to the man who died defending democracy“, he added.

Boric explained that these meetings between presidents generated complicity and affection, which translate into very concrete issues. He also thanked Fernández for sending a helicopter and a team of brigadiers to fight forest fires in Chile and remarked that, without the help of more than 700 volunteers from abroad, it would have been much more difficult.

The Chilean president also recalled his trip to Buenos Aires a year ago: ”Work was done on the meetings of the Argentine-Chilean Permanent Security Committee, on Antarctic matters, on the consultation mechanism on human rights and on the integration committee.“

”With Argentina, we have common challenges and today we have addressed the issue of security, because it is important that, in the face of organized gangs, the organized states fight them, doing so in conjunction with our Argentine brothers,” Boric went on.

This year marks 39 years since the signing of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship (which resolved the conflict over the Beagle Channel) and 18 years since the signing of the Treaty of Maipú, an instrument that laid the foundations of the current relationship between the two countries and establishes numerous bilateral mechanisms that support dialogue and joint work in multiple areas.

The so-called Abrazo de Maipú is a historical event that took place near Santiago, where San Martín and O'Higgins met on April 5, 1818, after the Battle of Maipú, which took place on the same day. The Army of the Andes' victory over the Spanish forces reaffirmed Chile's Declaration of Independence of Chile from Fe. 12 that year.

Fernández was joined by Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero and by Argentina's ambassador to Chile, Rafael Bielsa, among others, while Boric was flanked by Foreign Minister Alberto van Klaveren; Defense Minister Maya Fernández Allende and Santiago's Ambassador to Buenos Aires, Bárbara Figueroa.

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