The King and the Queen with Piñera and his wife, Cecilia Morel./ Photo: © Casa de S.M. el Rey
The Diplomat. 10/10/2018
The president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, thanked yesterday the “permanent support” of Spain to the negotiations carried out by his country with Brussels for the modernization of the Association Agreement with the EU and invited the King and Queen to visit his country during the commemorations for the Fifth Centenary of the first Circumnavigation of the planet by Fernando de Magallanes and Juan Sebastián Elcano.
Piñera’s day in Madrid began with his participation in an economic forum organized by the newspaper El País, in the course of which the Chilean president declared that the far-right Jair Bolsonaro, winner of the first round in the Brazilian presidential elections, “points in the good direction in the economic thing”.
Later, in the joint press conference with the head of government, Pedro Sánchez, he qualified his words affirming that he maintains “deep discrepancies” with Bolsonaro in other areas, such as racial and gender rights, human rights, climate change and Homophobia.
Piñera was received at noon by King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia at the Palacio de la Zarzuela, who entertained him and his wife, Cecilia Morel, with a luncheon of honor. During this meeting, as the president explained during the aforementioned press conference, they spoke “about the environment, climate change and the moral obligation we have to face it willingly and effectively”.
They also sought formulas to “strengthen the excellent relations” between the two countries and announced that they had invited the King and Queen to visit Chile. “A good occasion would be the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of that great feat”, he added, referring to the Fifth Centenary of the Circumnavigation, which is celebrated in 2019. The King and Queen, he said, were “very motivated” by the invitation.
The president thanks the “permanent support” of Spain to the modernization of the EU-Chile Association Agreement
After the meeting with the Kings, Piñera was received at the Palacio de la Moncloa by Pedro Sánchez, with whom he signed several agreements on cybersecurity, youth mobility and strengthening “the relations between ICEX and Prochile to increase the flow of imports and exports”, explained the Chief Executive himself at the subsequent press conference. Also, both leaders spoke about the Quincentennial, an event that “is very important to Spain and Chile and in which we will cooperate to make it a success”, explained Sanchez.
For his part, Piñera thanked Spain for its “permanent support” to negotiations with the EU to “modernize a treaty that is not only free trade, but cooperation and political coordination between the EU and Chile”, and Sánchez expressed his desire for an agreement to be reached “as soon as possible” between the two parties.
Sebastián Piñera traveled to Spain yesterday as part of his first international tour of Europe, which also includes France, Germany, Belgium and Italy, as well as a meeting with the European Parliament. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, also received yesterday his Chilean counterpart, Roberto Ampuero.