Chile and Argentina Agree to Move Forward on Integrating Border Regions
By Dialogo May 20, 2011Chile and Argentina have agreed to move forward on integrating their long shared border, an endeavor that includes connectivity and physical integration, according to the agreement reached at the conclusion of an initial meeting of regional authorities in Santiago, headed by the two countries’ foreign ministers.
The meeting brought together fourteen Argentine and thirteen Chilean governors responsible for provinces and regions located on both sides of the long shared border, which stretches for more than four thousand kilometers.
“Significant progress has been achieved at this meeting in the areas of connectivity, supply chains, border integration, transportation, and others,” Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno explained, following the signing of a fourteen-point declaration with which the meeting concluded.
“Integration is the fruit of democracy. Without democracy, there is no integration; without democracy, there is division, because with democracy comes the voice of the people, adding that what we are doing today is fulfilling their mandate,” Argentine Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman said for his part.
The Argentine and Chilean officials also met with Chilean President Sebastián Piñera in the presidential palace of La Moneda, where the talks focused primarily on energy integration.
“We spoke with President Piñera about taking major steps forward in energy integration, which is among the fourteen points signed in this declaration,” indicated Argentine Planning Minister Julio de Vido, who also participated in the session.
The meeting was part of the commitment to intensify the bilateral relationship between the two countries that took shape in the Treaty of Maipú signed in 2009 by Argentine President Cristina Fernández and former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet.