Foreign relations of Chile
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Since its return to democracy in 1990, Chile has been an active participant in the international political arena. Chile assumed a two-year non-permanent position on the UN Security Council in January 2003 and was re-elected to the council in October 2013. It is also an active member of the UN family of agencies, serving as a member of the Commission on Human Rights and participating in UN peacekeeping activities. Chile hosted the second Summit of the Americas in 1998, was the chair of the Rio Group in 2001, hosted the Defense Ministerial of the Americas in 2002, and the APEC summit and related meetings in 2004. In 2005 it hosted the Community of Democracies ministerial conference. An associate member of Mercosur and a full member of APEC. The OECD agreed to invite Chile to be among four countries to open discussions in becoming an official member. Chile has been an important actor on international economic issues and hemispheric free trade. The Chilean Government has diplomatic relations with most countries.
Chile does not currently maintain diplomatic relations with Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Burundi, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Niger, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Togo, Taiwan, or Yemen. Regarding Western Sahara, Chile has sent contradictory comments. Chile's Senate speaker Sergio Romero has said that Chile does not recognize Western Sahara's independence, but Chile's Ministry of Foreign Relations website includes Western Sahara as an independent country with which Chile has no diplomatic relations.
Chile and Argentina were close allies during the wars of independence against Spain. Argentine General José de San Martín crossed the Andes with Chilean independence hero Bernardo O'Higgins and together they defeated the Spaniards. However, after independence relations soured. This was primarily due to a border dispute: both nations claimed the totality of the Patagonia region.
Attempts to clear up the dispute were unsuccessful until 1881, when Chile was at war with both Bolivia and Peru. In order to avoid fighting Argentina as well, Chilean President Aníbal Pinto authorized his envoy, Diego Barros Arana to hand over as much territory as was needed to avoid Argentina siding with Bolivia and Peru. Barros succeeded in his mission: Argentina received the east Patagonia and Chile the Strait of Magellan.
However, border disputes continued. In 1902, war was again avoided when British King Edward VII agreed to mediate between the two nations. He established the current border in the Patagonia region.
The Beagle conflict began to brew in the 1960s, when Argentina began to claim that the Picton, Lennox and Nueva islands in the Beagle Channel were rightfully hers. In 1971 Chile and Argentina signed an agreement formally submitting the Beagle Channel issue to binding Beagle Channel Arbitration. On May 2, 1977 the court ruled that the islands and all adjacent formations belonged to Chile. See the Report and decision of the Court of Arbitration.
On 25 January 1978, the Argentina military junta led by General Jorge Videla declared the award fundamentally null and intensified their claim over the islands. On 22. December 1978, Argentina started the Operation Soberanía over the disputed islands, but the invasion was halted due to:
- The newspaper Clarín explained some years later that such caution was based, in part, on military concerns. In order to achieve a victory, certain objectives had to be reached before the seventh day after the attack. Some military leaders considered this not enough time due to the difficulty involved in transportation through the passes over the Andean Mountains.
and in cite 46:
- According to Clarín, two consequences were feared. First, those who were dubious feared a possible regionalization of the conflict. Second, as a consequence, the conflict could acquire great power proportions. In the first case decisionmakers speculated that Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Brazil might intervene. Then the great powers could take sides. In this case, the resolution of the conflict would depend not on the combatants, but on the countries that supplied the weapons.
In December that year, moments before Videla signed a declaration of war against Chile, Pope John Paul II agreed to mediate between the two nations. The Pope's envoy, Antonio Samorè, successfully averted war and proposed a new definitive boundary in which the three disputed islands would remain Chilean. Chile immediately accepted this decision, but Argentina still disliked and avoided acceptance until after the lost Falklands War in 1982. Both agreed to Samoré's proposal and signed the Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1984 between Chile and Argentina, ending that dispute.
In the 1990s, under presidents Frei and Menem both countries solved almost all of the remaining border disputes during bilateral talks. They also agreed to submit Laguna del Desierto to international arbitration in 1994. Almost the entire disputed area was awarded to Argentina.
The last border dispute are 50 km (31 mi). in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field from Mount Fitz Roy to Mount Daudet that is still officially undefined. In August 2006, however, a tourist map was published in Argentina placing the disputed region within the borders of that country. Chile filed an official complaint, sparking renewed efforts to settle the dispute which the Argentine government supports and urged Chile to finish quick as possible the demarcation of the international border.
Since democratization in the 1980s, both countries began a close economic and political integration as Chile became an associated member of Mercosur. Also both countries practice defense cooperation and friendship policy.
Relations with Bolivia have been strained ever since the independence wars because of the Atacama border dispute (Bolivia claims a corridor to the Pacific Ocean). The Spaniards never bothered to definitely establish a border between Chile and Bolivia. Chile claimed its limit with Peru ran through the Loa River and that Bolivia was therefore landlocked, while Bolivia claimed it did have a coast and that the limit with Chile ran along the Salado River. The border remained vague throughout the 19th century. Finally, Bolivia and Chile agreed, in 1866, to allow Bolivia access to the Pacific and that the limit of the two countries would run along the 24th parallel. The area between the 25th and 23rd parallel would remain demilitarized and both nations would be allowed to mine there. It was also agreed that taxes on the exportation of saltpeter would not increase.
However, in 1879, Bolivian dictator General Hilarión Daza increased the taxes on the exportation of saltpeter, violating the 1866 treaty. When Chilean-owned saltpeter companies protested, Daza expropriated their companies and sold them in a public auction. Daza then put an end to all commerce with Chile and exiled all Chilean residents in Bolivia (the Bolivian port of Antofagasta had more Chileans than Bolivians). In response, Chile declared war on Bolivia and occupied Bolivia's coast. Peru had, in 1873, signed a secret pact with Bolivia in which the two countries agreed to fight together against any nation that threatened either of them. When Peru refused to be neutral in the conflict between Chile and Bolivia, Chile declared war on Peru. Chile defeated both countries and annexed the coast claimed by Bolivia. This was ratified in a 1904 treaty.
Diplomatic relations with Bolivia continued to be strained because of Bolivia's continuing aspiration to the sea. In 1964, Bolivian President Víctor Paz Estenssoro severed diplomatic relations with Chile. Generals Augusto Pinochet and Hugo Banzer resumed diplomatic relations and attempted to settle territorial disputes. The secret negotiations started in 1973 and in 1975 diplomatic relations between Chile and Bolivia were established. That year, both dictators met in the Bolivian border town of Charaña. Pinochet agreed to give Bolivia a small strip of land running between the Chilean city of Arica and the Peruvian border. However the Treaty of Lima between Peru and Chile specified that Chile must consult Peru before granting any land to a third party in the area of Tarapacá. Peruvian dictator General Francisco Morales Bermúdez did not agree with the Charaña proposal and instead drafted his own proposal, in which the three nations would share administration of the port of Arica and the sea immediately in front of it. Pinochet refused this agreement, and Banzer broke ties with Chile again in 1978. The failure of the Charaña accords was one of the reasons of Banzer's downfall that very year.
Chile and Bolivia maintain consular relations, and appear to have become friendlier. Former Chilean President Ricardo Lagos attended the inauguration of current Bolivian President Evo Morales. Morales has repeatedly announced his intention to establish diplomatic relations with Chile once more, but has still not given up Bolivia's claim to the sea.
Chile and Brazil have acted numerous times as mediators in international conflicts, such as in the 1914 diplomatic impasse between the United States and Mexico, avoiding a possible state of war between those two countries. More recently, since the 2004 Haitian coup d'état, Chile and Brazil have activelly participated in the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti, which is led by the Brazilian Army. They are also two of the three most important economies in South America along with Argentina.
Chile and Ecuador have been traditional allies due to their conflicts with Peru.
After the War of the Pacific (1879–83) pursued a policy of promoting friendly relationships between countries with disputes with Chile's neighbors. In doing so Chile made attempts to establish friendly relationships between Ecuador and Colombia, both were countries that had serious territorial disputes with Peru in the Amazon. Military cooperation with Ecuador grew considerably after the War of the Pacific with Chile sending instructors to the military academy in Quito and selling superfluous arms and munitions to Ecuador. Despite Chile's over-all good relations with Ecuador both countries had a minor diplomatic crisis resulting from the capture of the Peruvian torpedo boat Alay in Ecuadorian territorial waters during the war.
On May 20, 1914, Chile and the other ABC Powers met in Niagara Falls, Canada, to mediate diplomatically to avoid a state of war between the United States and Mexico over the Veracruz Incident and the Tampico Affair. In 1974, Mexico severed diplomatic relations over the overthrow of President Salvador Allende. For the next fifteen years, Mexico would accept thousands of Chilean refugees who were escaping the government of General Augusto Pinochet. Diplomatic relations between the two nations were re-established in 1990. Currently both countries have signed a free trade agreement that went into effect in 1999. Both nations are founding members of the Pacific Alliance and are the only two Latin-American nations to be members of the OECD.
- Chile has an embassy in Mexico City.
- Mexico has an embassy in Santiago.
Chile and Peru had excellent relations at the time of independence, when Chilean independence hero Bernardo O'Higgins formed the Freedom Expedition of Perú, financed by the Chilean government for the cause of the liberation of the northern neighbour. Chile and Peru participated in a common conflict against Spain, the Chincha Islands War (1864–1866), despite their causes for war with Spain where different. Despite the Chilean port of Valparaíso was bombed and mostly destroyed by Spain during the conflict, the combined Peru-Chile fleet managed to defend Chilean territory near Abtao, and the Peruvian defenders of Callao managed to drive back the Spanish attack. In 1873, Peru signed a secret defensive pact with Bolivia in which it agreed to help that nation in case of foreign attack. The moment came in 1879, when Chile declared war on Bolivia. Peru refused to null its defensive pact with Bolivia, and Chile declared war on Peru. The War of the Pacific, as the conflict was called, resulted in a decisive victory for Chile, which managed to reach Lima and occupied Peru for a few years.
In 1883, Chile and Peru signed the Treaty of Ancón in which Peru handed over the Province of Tarapacá. Peru also had to hand over the departments of Arica and Tacna. These would remain under Chilean control until a later date, when there would be a plebiscite to decide which nation would maintain control over Arica and Tacna. Chile and Peru, however, were unable to agree on how or when to hold the plebiscite, and in 1929, both countries signed the Treaty of Lima, in which Peru gained Tacna and Chile maintained control of Arica.
Relations have remained sour because of the war. In 1975, both countries were at the brink of war, only a few years before the centennial of the War of the Pacific. The conflict was fueled by ideological disputes: Peruvian General Juan Velasco was a left-winger while Chilean General Augusto Pinochet was a right-winger. Velasco, backed by Cuba, set the date for invasion on August 6, the 150th independence anniversary of Bolivia, and the proposed date when Chile intended to grant this country with a sovereign corridor north of Arica, in former Peruvian territory, transfer not approved by Peru. However, he was successfully dissuaded from starting the invasion on that date by his advisor, General Francisco Morales Bermúdez, whose original family was from the former Peruvian (currently Chilean) region of Tarapacá. Velasco later fell ill and was deposed by a group of generals who proclaimed Morales Bermúdez president on August 28.
Morales Bermúdez assured the Chilean government that Peru had no plans for an invasion despite its tremendous military superiority. Tensions mounted again when a Chilean spy mission in Peru was discovered. Morales Bermúdez was again able to avert war, despite pressure from Velasco's ultranationalist followers.
Relations between the two nations have since mostly recovered. In 2005, the Peruvian Congress unilaterally approved a new law which stated the sea limit with Chile. Peru's position was that the border has never been fully demarcated, but Chile disagreed reminding on treaties in 1952 and 1954 between the countries, which supposedly defined seaborder. The border problem has still not been solved. However, former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet and Peru's Alan García established a positive diplomatic relationship, and it is very unlikely any hostilities will break out because of the dispute.
Nevertheless, in early April 2007, Peruvian nationalistic sectors, mainly represented by left wing ex-presidential candidate Ollanta Humala decided to congregate at 'hito uno' right at the border with Chile, in a symbolic attempt to claim sovereignty over a maritime area known in Peru as Mar de Grau (Grau's Sea) just west of the Chilean city of Arica. Peruvian police stopped a group of nearly 2,000 people just ten kilometers from the border, preventing them from reaching their intended destination. Despite these incidents, the presidents of both Chile and Peru have confirmed their intentions to improve the relationships between the two countries, mainly fueled by the huge amount of commercial exchange between both countries private sectors.
|Country||Formal Relations Began||Notes|
|Austria||See Austria–Chile relations
The first bilateral relations dates back from 1846. Austria has an embassy in Santiago de Chile and 3 honorary consulates (in Arica, Valdivia and Valparaíso). Chile has an embassy in Vienna and 3 honorary consulates (in Linz, Klagenfurt and Salzburg).
|Croatia||1992-04-15||See Chile–Croatia relations
|Denmark||See Chile–Denmark relations|
|Estonia||See Chile–Estonia relations
|Finland||1931||See Chile–Finland relations
Chile recognised Finland's independence on June 17, 1919. Diplomatic relations between them were established in 1931 and have been continuously maintained, despite pressures at times to discontinue them. The two countries maintain resident ambassadors in both capitals.
|Romania||1925-02-05||See Chile–Romania relations
|Russia||1944-12-11||See Chile–Russia relations|
|Spain||1844||See Chile–Spain relations|
|Turkey||1926||See Chilean–Turkish relations
Chile was the first country in Latin America which recognized Turkey with the Friendship Treaty, on January 30, 1926. In Santiago, there can be found the Turkish Republic Square, Atatürk College and Atatürk monument. The Turkish embassy in Chile is the first embassy of Turkey opened in Latin America. In addition Turkey includes a Chile Square in Ankara inaugurated on September 18, 1970 that contains the Bernardo O'Higgins Monument. The Pablo Neruda square in Turkey was inaugurated in 2007.
|United Kingdom||See Chile – United Kingdom relations
Rest of world
- Start date: 1992
- Armenia is represented in Chile through its embassy in Buenos Aires (Argentina).
- Chile is represented in Armenia through its embassy in Moscow (Russia).
- Diplomatic relations date back from the time when Australia was a British colony. During the Australian gold rush, the population grew fast and Chile became one of Australia's major wheat suppliers, with a regular traffic of ships between Sydney and Valparaíso.
- Both countries are members of APEC, OECD and the Cairns Group.
- Australia and Chile signed the Australia-Chile Free Trade Agreement on July 30, 2008. The agreement came into effect in the first quarter of 2009.
- Australia is one of several international partners with Chile in the Gemini Observatory, with one of the two 8 m telescopes of the observatory located at the summit of Cerro Pachón in Chile.
Barbados is accredited in Chile through its embassy in Caracas, (Venezuela). Chile is accredited to Barbados from its embassy in Port of Spain, (Trinidad and Tobago) and maintains an honorary consulate in Bridgetown. Barbados and Chile formally established diplomatic relations on 3 October 1967. Chile was the first Latin American country with which Barbados formally established formal diplomatic relations. Both countries raised the agenda of rekindling ties in 2005 as a precursor to the attempted Free Trade Area of the Americas trading bloc. At current both blocs have discussed the introduction of a free trade agreement and more specifically Chile and CARICOM have specifically noted the possibility of establishing a free trade agreement.
Chilean President Ricardo Lagos visited Barbados on February 20–21, 2005 The Barbados Prime Minister later reciprocated by official visit to Chile in November 2005. As part of their meeting the Government of Barbados pledged support to Chilean-diplomat José Miguel Insulza for the post of Secretary General to the Organization of American States (OAS). In May 2009, Prime Minister David Thompson outlined his plan to further Barbadian relations in the Americas. As part of his outline he named Chile as one of three countries which he desired his government would further enhance relations with in South America.
Chile recognized the Republic of China until 1970, when diplomatic recognition was switched to the People's Republic of China under the left-leaning Allende. After the 1973 coup by the Pinochet-led junta, diplomatic relations were cut between Chile and all Communist nations, with the exception of China and Romania. The strongly anti-Communist military government in Chile maintained friendly ties with the Communist government in China for the remainder of the Cold War, with Pinochet crediting the Chinese for abiding by the principle of non-interference in other nations' internal affairs. China and Chile exchanged military missions and the Soviet Chilean copper exports to China and Chinese loans The friendly relations were cemented by a share distaste for the Soviet Union, the Chinese diplomatic principle of non-interference in other nations' internal affairs, and a willingness to overlook ideological differences in the pursuit of economic ties. Chile currently maintains an embassy in Beijing, along with consulates in Guangzhou, Shanghai and Hong Kong. China maintains an embassy in Santiago.
- Iran maintains an embassy in Santiago.
- Chile is represented in Iran through its mission to the United Nations.
Iran severed its diplomatic ties with Chile on August 18, 1980, protesting Pinochet regime's repressive internal policies and giving the Chilean Chargé d'affaires in Tehran 15 days to close the embassy and leave the country. Iran and Chile resumed relations on December 2, 1991 with Iran opening its embassy in Santiago, only to close it again in 1999 citing financial problems. The Iranian embassy in Santiago was finally reopened in 2007 at full ambassador level.
Chile recognized Israel's independence in February 1949. Both countries established diplomatic relation on 16 May 1950, with Israel sending their first ambassador on that date and Chile sending their first ambassador on 16 June 1952. Chile has an embassy in Tel Aviv. Israel has an embassy in Santiago.
Chile was the first country in South America to sign a trade agreement with India, in 1956. An ongoing dialogue has nurtured bilateral political understanding. The mechanism of Foreign Office level consultations was initiated in Santiago in August 2000, and was followed up with a second meeting in New Delhi in April, 2003. However, high-level political exchanges have been few and far between. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi visited Chile in 1968, Transport and Communications Minister K.P. Unnikrishnan in 1990, and President Shankar Dayal Sharma in 1995. From the Chilean side, there has not been any HOS/HOG visit to India. As an indication of Chile’s interest in an enhanced relationship, the Chilean Minister of Agriculture visited India in December 2001.
The Chile–Malaysia relations is mainly based on trade. In 2009, the total trade between Chile and Malaysia is $336 million with the total Malaysian export to Chile were $16.8 million while the import with $148.7 million.
Chile–Pakistan relations refers to the current and historical relationship between Chile and Pakistan. Formal diplomatic relations between the two states established in 2008, when Pakistan opened an embassy in Chile. As of 2010, Chile did not have an embassy in Pakistan, though it had expressed interested in doing so.
Chile and the Philippines were both former Spanish colonies. Diplomatic relations between Chile and the Philippines began way back in 1854 when Chile opened a consulate in Binondo, Manila. But the formal relations established on July 4, 1946, the day that the Philippines officially gained their official independence from the United States.
The establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and the República de Chile (Republic of Chile) began on 18 April 1962. The Republic of Chile has a Working Holiday Program Agreement with the Republic of Korea It was at the first time with a country of the Asia.
Chile-United States relations have been better in the period 1988 to the present than any other time in history. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, The United States government applauded the rebirth of democratic practices in Chile, despite having facilitated the 1973 Chilean coup d'état, the build-up to which included destabilizing the country's economy and politics.
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- Economic Department - Embassy of Chile in the United States of America
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- See Argentine newspaper Clarín of Buenos Aires, 20 December 1998
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- Consulate-General of Chile in Barcelona (in Spanish)
- Embassy of Spain in Santiago (in Spanish)
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- Basyn - Yayýn ve Enformasyon Genel Müdürlüðü
- "Asuntos Culturales" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 22 February 2014.
- Basyn - Yayýn ve Enformasyon Genel Müdürlüðü
- Ukrainian embassy in Buenos Aires, also accredited to Chile (in Spanish and Ukrainian only)
- LIST OF COUNTRIES WITH WHICH BARBADOS HAS DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS - As of August 2006
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- "Media Release: Malaysia-Chile Free Trade Agreement". Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia. 18 November 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
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- Ministry of Foreign Relations (Spanish)