Chilean President Gabriel Boric Font Wednesday chose José Antonio Viera-Gallo to fill the vacancy as Ambassador to Argentina, which would mean the appointee's return to a position he held between 2015 and 2018, Undersecretary of the Interior Manuel Monsalve announced.
There is experience there, I believe, in political matters and to be able to manage in a neighboring country with which we are interested in maintaining relations, not only political but also commercial relations, Monsalve explained.
Boric said on X (Twitter) that he chose Viera-Gallo because his extensive political and diplomatic career will be a great contribution to continue deepening our unbreakable diplomatic relations and brotherhood with the Argentine people.
Viera-Gallo will be replacing Bárbara Figueroa, who left her post to take over as secretary-general of Chile's Communist Party back in September.
Chile's future relations with Argentina are shadowed by recent derogative remarks against Boric by Javier Milei earlier this year in Santiago. In this scenario, Foreign Minister Alberto van Klaveren was known to favor someone experienced enough so as not to further stir what seems will be a controversial relationship after Milei's Dec. 10 inauguration.
Viera-Gallo is a lawyer, academic, and politician of the Socialist Party, who in addition to his past as Chilean ambassador to Argentina between 2015 and 2018 under President Michelle Bachelet, has been a deputy and senator of the Republic, as well as minister of the General Secretariat of the President.
Also Wednesday, it was reported in Santiago that President Boric would not be attending the pro-environmental United Nations Climate Change Conference COP28 in Dubai to make adjustments in different matters at home. According to a statement from La Moneda, Boric has an intense work agenda that has security and the economy as its main priorities. It will be the second consecutive year Boric misses out on the event. Chile was represented at COP27 by Environment Minister Maisa Rojas, who will also be traveling this year to the UAE. The announcement was made amid Boric's trip to Antarctica alongside UN Secrretary-General António Guterres.
Boric said it was very good news and it is important for Chile that the Secretary General of the United Nations enters Antarctica via Chile, which we have always said that Chile and Magallanes is the gateway to the world to Antarctica, I think it is very significant.
Although in Antarctica there is no sovereignty as such, and it is a continent of science and peace, we are going to be in the Chilean bases ... talking with scientists and with the Armed Forces, Boric also explained.