LIMA – Peruvian head of state Pedro Pablo Kuczynski and Chilean counterpart Michelle Bachelet presided on Friday over the first formal gathering of Cabinet ministers from the two Andean nations.
“This is a truly historic moment,” Kuczynski said. “This process started some time ago, but today we are giving it a big boost.”
Though the official agenda was heavily focused on issues such as trade and investment, the Peruvian president insisted that the initiative was “not just about economic issues, but about the understanding between two democratic countries that have been through very difficult moments in the past and have known how to surmount circumstances.”
Bachelet said that the effort “will have concrete results, not just words, but actions.”
“We will have an action plan with a significant set of projects to improve cooperation and integration and the lives of our citizens,” she said.
Peruvian and Chilean ministers were set to discuss integration, security and defense, foreign trade, investment and tourism, the environment, sustainable development, mining and energy, and development in border areas.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Bachelet and Kuczynski are expected to sign the Lima Action Plan along with nearly a dozen bilateral agreements on health, culture, justice, human rights, and disaster management.
The Peruvian government already conducts regular binational Cabinet meetings with Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia.