View Full Version : Peru to Question Chile’s “Arms Build-Up” in the EU/Latam Madrid Summit

^ lynx ^
06-05-10, 20:57
Peru to Question Chile’s “Arms Build-Up” in the EU/Latam Madrid Summit

The Peruvian government’s claim that Chile is undergoing a tremendous arms build-up has once again come to the forefront of Latin American international relations.

http://en.mercopress.com/data/cache/noticias/27169/240x0/joselo.jpg (http://en.mercopress.com/imgs.php/noticias/27169/0x0/joselo.jpg)

Foreign Affairs minister José Antonio García Belaunde

The issue resurfaced when Peru’s Foreign Affairs Minister José García Belaúnde announced his intention to propose limiting Chile’s purchase of arms when the countries meet at the Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union Summit (LAC-EU) on May 17 and 18 in Spain.

“There (in Madrid), Chile’s plans will be exposed. This is one of the most important stances the president (Alan García) has taken, and I believe the issue will continue demanding the utmost vigilance,” said Belaunde.

Chile has spent nearly 4.5 billion USD on new military equipment since 2000, roughly half of which occurred during former President Michelle Bachelet’s term.

Chilean government officials have vehemently denied charges of increased militarization: “Chile is engaging no type of arms buildup,” insisted Minister of Defense Jaime Ravinet this week. Ravinet will meet with his Peruvian counterpart, Rafael Rey, to discuss the renewed accusations when the UNASUR summit of heads of state and defence ministers meets in Argentina before the gathering in Europe.

Peruvian President Alan García’s claim in 2009 that Chile is engaged in an arms build up has polarized other Latin American countries. Bolivia has criticized Chile’s military aspirations; Ecuador has defended Chile.

Ecuador, a traditional Chilean ally because of their shared suspicion of Peru, made its support known almost immediately: “We believe that Chile only intends to strengthen its deterrent capacity,” said Ecuador’s Minister of Defence, Javier Ponce Cevallos.

“This is only logical, because Chile must protect its borders and sovereignty”. Cevallos went on to praise Chile for having transparency with its military expenses. “Chile has done an extraordinary job of showing how formerly hostile countries can improve relations by pursuing policies of transparency in terms of acquisitions.”

It remains to be seen how a more impartial European audience of diplomatic leaders will evaluate Chile’s increased military spending, but Peru’s proposed cap has almost zero chance of becoming reality.

Source. (http://en.mercopress.com/2010/05/01/peru-to-question-chile-s-arms-build-up-in-the-eu-latam-madrid-summit)

^ lynx ^
15-05-10, 17:48
I just hope the next meeting between the EU and "Latam" in Madrid doesn't turn into another pitifull "Banana Republic spectacle" like the meetings in Latin American use to end lately.