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Peru concerned about Chilean arms purchase

Chile’s massive armament purchase affects the strategic balance in the South American region and is always reason for concern, said Peru’s Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Garcia Belaúnde after being asked about a recent article published in Chilean newspaper “La Tercera” which gave an account of the latest purchase of twelve F-16 supersonic fighter jets for the Chilean Air Force.

Garcia Belaunde indicated that he read the article but he declined to comment since he had not received any official confirmation.

Nevertheless, he remarked there is no bilateral or continental agreement which would regulate a maximum number of jets allowed for each country but added that there are no reasons that would justify such a increase in military equipment. According to Belaunde, the subject will be discussed in the next “2 + 2″ meeting scheduled for October.

On the other hand, he advanced he had a long “ample and frank” conversation with his Chilean colleague, foreign minister Alejandro Foxley, in which they talked about this and other matters.

“Peru and Chile know the positions of each other. That doesn’t prevent us from talking about certain subjects, mainly the ones where we have differences. But there are also important issues where we can work together, topics that are of common interest, and we are not going to be affected by those differences”, he emphasized.

Article by Wolfy Becker