Piñera makes controversial remarks on Peru-Chile maritime border dispute
SANTIAGO – “Chile is going to continue being a country that loves peace, but our country, also, has Armed Forces who are perfectly prepared to defend our sovereignty, our territory, our ocean,” said the Chilean president, Sebastián Piñera, about the ongoing dispute regarding maritime borders between Peru and Chile.
He was attending the Huracán 2011 military exercises in the Atacama desert when he made this statement. Huracán 2011 consists of two stages: the first is the preparation of the forces and the other is related to the implementation of the exercises.
Piñera was joined by the Minister of Defense, Andrés Allamand, and the commanders in chief of the three branches of national defense to showcase the excellence and the level of professionalism of their forces.
The ex-Minister of Defense, Ántero Flores-Aráoz has said of Piñera’s statement, “What is their ocean and what is ours?…There is an international court that will decide [on the dispute]… It’s better to remain prudent when faced with these types of things.”
In addition to this, the ex-Minister of Defense Roberto Chiabra regrets the President’s statement, suggesting, “These declarations, in diplomatic terms, do not help the rapprochement of the two countries.”
Peruvian State Department’s sources consider Piñera’s statement to be directed at the military sphere rather than the diplomatic. The Minister of Peruvian Foreign Relations, Rafael Roncagliolo, had said on Monday, Nov.7, that the date for the case would be set in February 2012.