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Foreign Minister Ampuero in Mercosur: "Moving towards integration is a permanent objective for Chile"

Monday, June 18, 2018

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Roberto Ampuero, represented the President of the Republic, Sebastian Piñera, in the Plenary Session of the Presidents of the States Parties of MERCOSUR and Associated States.

During the meeting, the leaders agreed on the importance of giving a boost to the roadmap for convergence between the Pacific Alliance and Mercosur. Within this framework, Chancellor Ampuero stressed the firm will of our country "to continue cooperating in the achievement of the objectives of integration that we share in the framework of MERCOSUR".

The Chancellor emphasized the importance that President Piñera's government attaches to regional issues. "With our region as a priority, moving towards integration is a permanent goal for Chile. To move forward in that direction, we believe we must do so in a pragmatic manner, building on solid foundations, with gradual but permanent steps," he said.

He highlighted the maturity that Latin America is reaching, while recognizing the time that has been lost "in sterile struggles after ideological utopias, which have only polarized the internal situation and created external tensions between our countries. In this sense, he proposed "to change this paradigm, moving away from the ideological confrontation that has impeded progress in our region, to seek coincidences on principles of common acceptance, calling for unity".

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In addition, Minister Ampuero reflected on the obstacles that have prevented progress towards integration, pointing out, for example, the setting of maximalist and global goals, and therefore, difficult or impossible to achieve. "It is time to learn from our mistakes, as a first step towards a better future in our region," he said, adding that Chile is convinced that "it is much more feasible to move forward together towards integration and development, based on realistic, feasible ideas and objectives on which there is a clear consensus. We believe that we must also set ourselves measurable objectives," he said.

He also reaffirmed the conviction that it is only possible to achieve these goals, when it comes to the expansion of what we would call the virtuous trilogy of a free society, "a genuinely democratic political system, an economic system open to free competition and private initiative and a system of government that guarantees the full defence of human rights, oversight and defence in social, environmental and gender terms".

The Secretary of State stressed that "it is the shared vision on the principles of freedom that has enabled the Pacific Alliance to show significant progress. Chile will continue to seek to deepen and broaden the convergence of the Pacific Alliance with MERCOSUR. We are confident in the growing willingness to take concrete steps to achieve this rapprochement".

Finally, the Minister mentioned the crisis affecting Venezuela, ratifying Chile's support for the Venezuelan people and "a political, peaceful and negotiated solution, coming from the Venezuelan people themselves, which will make it possible to overcome the serious crisis that that country is going through". He also said that "Chile is dismayed by the number of victims, which is already over 150 in Nicaragua. We call on the government of Daniel Ortega to listen to his people and to seek a solution based on dialogue, without violence and without repression. It is the Nicaraguans who are called upon to reach a solution".