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Montevideo, June 21st 2024 - 10:26 UTC

 

 

Chilean authorities to discuss Antarctica issues on site

Tuesday, May 21st 2024 - 10:16 UTC
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Defense Minister Maya Fernández and a group of parliamentarians will convene at the President Frei Base this week Defense Minister Maya Fernández and a group of parliamentarians will convene at the President Frei Base this week

Chilean Lower House's Defense Committee plans to convene at the Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva base in Antarctica this week to discuss the “prevailing geopolitical conditions” in the area after controversies with Argentina regarding sovereignty claims.

The parliamentarians are scheduled to travel on Thursday alongside Defense Minister Maya Fernández and Ambassador Marcos Correa Letelier, who heads the Foreign Ministry's Antarctic Affairs Division.

Recent oil discoveries in the region will also be on the table, it was reported in Santiago. The presence of Chilean Air Force (Fach) Chief Air General Hugo Rodríguez was still to be confirmed.

Congresswoman Camila Flores of Renovación Nacional said the event would be a “transversal act of sovereignty” after an alleged oil discovery by Russia in Antarctic territory claimed by the UK, Chile, and Argentina. A consultative summit of countries making up the Antarctic Treaty System began Monday in India.

Chilean President Gabriel Boric Font confirmed last week that his country would “oppose any commercial exploitation of minerals and hydrocarbons” in the area as per the 1959 Antarctic Treaty.

The Chilean Antarctic Statute enacted on Aug. 21, 2020, provides for the South American country's on-site deployments to defend its sovereignty claims. In this regard, the Chilean Navy contributes to national Antarctic activities, including maritime search and rescue, and Illegal Unregulated and Unregulated Fishing (IUU) control while at the same time ensuring sustainability and respect for the environment.

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