After a reunion in Brasilia this morning with President Dilma Rousseff and lunch in Sao Paolo with major Brazilian industry leaders, President-elect Mauricio Macri will be rounding up his “express tour” in Chile tonight where he will be meeting President Michelle Bachelet for a work meeting and dinner.
Chilean Foreign Secretary Heraldo Muñoz said that the government was “very satisfied and happy” with Macri’s upcoming visit.
Beyond the upcoming protocol and photographed handshakes, there are a couple of things that may come up in the meeting with our Andean neighbor.
First, as Macri mentioned in his first press conference, one of the new administration’s main objectives is to forge closer relations with Latin America:
“We’ve distanced ourselves and the future dictates that we should be more together,” he said when presenting his cabinet in the Botanical Garden. On a macro level, Macri has also expressed the desire to revamp the South America bloc with new “dynamism.” Within this overall objective, Macri intends to get closer to the Pacific Alliance, which includes Chile.
Second, on a bilateral level, Macri told Clarín that he sought to “reinforce a link that has diminished under Cristina.” Mining is an important issue when it comes to Argentine-Chilean relations. Macri has appointed Daniel Meilán as Mining Secretary, who had in fact negotiated a bilateral mining treaty in 1997 that permits cross-border exploitation of mineral deposits.
Some conversation starters for Friday dinner, right?
Bachelet has also confirmed that she will be present at Macri’s presidential ceremony on December 10th.