Chile respects Colombia’s “sovereign” decision to allow the U.S. to use
Colombian military bases for counternarcotics operations in the
region, the country’s foreign Minister said Wednesday.
Colombian counterpart Alvaro Uribe Wednesday met with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet as part of the Colombian President’s South American tour to weaken resistance in the region for the U.S.-Colombian plan for increased U.S. military presence in his country.
Bachelet last week expressed she and other countries in South America were “worried” about the plan.
Neither Uribe nor Chilean Foreign Minister Mariano Fernandez wanted to share much with the press after their meeting. Uribe only said the meeting had been “very important” and was “grateful” for Bachelet’s reception. Fernandez would not add anything to his country’s respect for “sovereign” decisions made by Colombia.
After his visit to Chile, Uribe left for Argentina, where he was similarly cautious to talk to the press after meeting with
President Cristina Fernandez. Speaking to reporters for exactly 33
seconds, he declared that the meeting was “wide-ranging and covered
important themes,” then left without taking questions.
Uribe Tuesday visited Peru and Bolivia and is still to visit Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil.
South American defense union UNASUR is set to meet in Ecuador Saturday. The host country and ally Venezuela have expressed great concern over the increase of U.S. troops in their neighboring country. Uribe refuses to attend the meeting where the plan will be discussed. Instead, he chose for a diplomatic tour past seven, more moderate, South American countries.