SANTIAGO – Chilean President Sebastian Piñera and US Defense Secretary James Mattis signed on Thursday an agreement to cooperate in cybersecurity, taking advantage of the Pentagon chief’s visit to Chile as part of his first official tour through South America.
“One issue that interests us above all is the matter of cybersecurity, which is something for which the countries of Latin America are not well prepared and we have to make up for lost time,” said Piñera during the signing ceremony at La Moneda Palace, the seat of the Chilean executive.
Meanwhile, Mattis emphasized in a joint appearance before the media the importance of the document, saying that it was one that looks to the future by strengthening the cooperation between the two countries in terms of Internet security.
The US defense chief also said that the pact acknowledges the threats facing the two democracies in the cyber-zone and shows the determination of Santiago and Washington to fight them together.
The South American leader added that Chile wants to “maintain its privileged relationship” with Washington as countries that share a “commitment” to democracy and human rights.
Before meeting with Piñera at La Moneda, Mattis was welcomed by his Chilean counterpart, Alberto Espina, at the Chilean Defense Ministry.
The visit of Mattis to Santiago is the fourth stop on his South American tour, which has already taken him to Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires since he began the trip last Sunday.
Mattis is scheduled to leave Thursday afternoon for Bogota, where he will wrap up his tour, departing for Washington on Friday.