U.S. Agrees with Peru on Arms Reduction in the Region

U.S. Agrees with Peru on Arms Reduction in the Region

By Dialogo
July 15, 2010

The United States agrees with the Peruvian proposal to reduce the arms race in the region, the chief U.S. diplomat for Latin America, Arturo Valenzuela, said Tuesday, after arriving in Lima on a trip that also includes Chile and Ecuador.

“Each country is sovereign and has every right to build up its arms, but we agree with the proposal that Peru has made” on reducing the arms race, Valenzuela said after meeting with Peruvian foreign minister José García Belaunde, the official news agency Andina reported.

Spending on arms in recent years “has generally decreased,” the official affirmed. “This demonstrates that, in fact, countries are at peace, and it’s important to ensure that there are resources for investment in education and infrastructure,” he added.

In September 2009 Peruvian president Alan García proposed to the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) an agreement to limit expenditures on arms purchases and sign a nonaggression pact.

Valenzuela and García Belaunde met for two hours in the foreign ministry in Lima, where they discussed issues such as the environment and the role of Unasur.

“We covered a series of regional issues, as well as other mechanisms of collaboration we might have,” Valenzuela indicated.

The assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs arrived in Lima with Todd Stern, the U.S. special envoy for climate change.