Peru seeks better ties with Chile despite maritime dispute

14:50, January 09, 2010      

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Peruvian Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Garcia Belaunde has said the impasse over maritime delimitation with Chile should not freeze bilateral ties, local press reported Friday.

Garcia Belaunde said one of his aims is to restore ties with Chile, despite the "non-negotiable" issue of maritime territory between both countries.

Since 2006, Peru and Chile have been wrangling at the international court over the sovereignty of an maritime area of approximately 37,900 square km.

Garcia Belaunde said that it might take many years before the international court gives a final sentence on this issue, but this should not impede the exchanges with Chile in other areas such as trade and human resources.

There are many common interests between Peru and Chile, said the foreign minister, who added that he believed the new Chilean president to be elected on Jan. 17 would continue to improve bilateral cooperation and good-neighborly relationship.

Garcia Belaunde said the commercial ties between the two countries have been very fluid and Peruvian investors have invested extensively in Chile, which has "created a dynamic" on bilateral ties, investment and trade.

The minister also said there is a significant flow of Chilean citizens every day coming to Peru to get medical assistance or to enjoy Peruvian cuisine.

He praised the great efforts the government of Chilean President Michele Bachelet has made to protect the Peruvian citizens living in Chile and give them legal status.

Source: Xinhua
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