On 28 and 29 March 2023, the Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, paid a working visit to Chile. In Santiago, the head of Luxembourg's diplomacy was the first foreign minister to be received by Chile's new Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Alberto van Klaveren, who took office just three weeks ago. Minister van Klaveren is a friend of Luxembourg, and of Minister Asselborn personally, as he served as Chilean Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg until 2006.
At the beginning of his visit, Minister Asselborn exchanged views with the Belgian ambassador and representatives of the EU delegation and the Dutch embassy on the current situation in Chile and the region. During the meeting, the European diplomats expressed their views on the great importance of the new procedure for drafting a new constitution for Chile, after the negative referendum in September 2022. The Chilean government has already set up a commission of 24 experts, mainly from the academic world, to prepare a draft text. This draft will be debated by a Constitutional Council of 50 members elected by the people. At the end of the year the final draft will be put to another referendum. All these efforts illustrate the government's determination to better frame and structure the work on the new constitution.
This exchange was followed by a working meeting with Minister van Klaveren at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. These discussions focused on Russia's aggression against Ukraine and its international implications. Both ministers reiterated that the Russian aggression is contrary to the international system based on international law and reaffirmed their full support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.
Chile and Luxembourg enjoy excellent bilateral relations, based on a number of bilateral agreements. Minister Asselborn welcomed Chile's efforts to develop sustainable industries and in the field of decarbonisation, and the opportunities that these investments create for deepening economic relations between the two countries.
The discussion also focused on the regional situation in Latin America and the main challenges the region is facing. Both sides appreciated Brazil's return to a domestic and foreign policy that fully respects human rights and international law.
Ministers welcomed the excellent cooperation between the European Union and Chile, which recently concluded negotiations to modernise the Association Agreement in order to adapt it to the realities of the 21st century, particularly in terms of sustainable development and the defence of human rights.
Chile and Luxembourg also collaborate in the implementation of their respective foreign policies on women's issues, and the visit was an opportunity to exchange views on the different approaches to implementing this policy, both within the diplomatic corps and in the defence of women's and girls' rights in multilateral forums.
Finally, the head of Luxembourg's diplomacy was invited to the Diplomatic Academy in Santiago, where he had an informal exchange with the young future diplomats. The students took the opportunity to hear Minister Asselborn's views on migration, the fight against disinformation and the importance of regional integration and multilateralism for countries such as Luxembourg and Chile.
Press release by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs