WASHINGTON – Chile’s Foreign Minister Heraldo Muñoz expressed to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson his wish to have excellent relations with the new Trump government, a message well received by the head of US diplomacy.
“I hope we maintain the excellent relations that Chile has had for many years with the United States,” Muñoz said upon being received by Tillerson at the State Department in Washington.
At the beginning of the State Department meeting, Tillerson welcomed his Chilean counterpart and the two high officials shook hands.
The meeting was held behind closed doors and, as he was leaving, Muñoz would only say when asked by EFE that he had discussed many aspects of bilateral relations with Tillerson.
According to the Chilean Foreign Ministry, a number of topics on the bilateral and regional agenda were on the table, including Asia-Pacific economic integration, the Pacific Alliance and the challenges of Latin America.
The two leaders had also planned to talk about the United States-Chile Free Trade Agreement, which was first discussed in 1994, was enacted in 2004 and since then has permitted the reduction of customs barriers while boosting trade between the two countries.
Bilateral trade was planned to increase with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), but President Donald Trump on his first day in office pulled out of the pact, signed in February 2016 by then-President Barack Obama and 11 countries bordering on the Pacific Ocean including Chile.
In Washington, besides the meeting with Tillerson, Muñoz planned to meet Friday with the secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, with whom he would discuss the situation in Venezuela and Chile’s contribution to the peace and stability of the region.