(L-R) Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg’s Minister of Foreign and European Affairs; Alberto van Klaveren, Chile's Minister of Foreign Affairs; Credit: MAEE

On Tuesday 28 and Wednesday 29 March 2023, Luxembourg’s Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, paid a working visit to Chile.

The head of Luxembourg's diplomacy was the first foreign minister to be received by the new Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile, Alberto van Klaveren, who assumed his functions three weeks ago. According to Luxembourg’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Minister van Klaveren is a friend of Luxembourg and a personal friend of Minister Asselborn; he served as Ambassador of Chile to Belgium and Luxembourg from 2004 until 2006.

At the beginning of the Chile visit, Minister Asselborn spoke with the Ambassador of Belgium and with representatives of the EU Delegation and the Embassy of the Netherlands to listen to their impressions of the current situation in Chile and in the region. At this meeting, European diplomats set out their views on the importance of the new procedure for drafting a new Constitution for Chile, after the failed referendum of September 2022.

The Chilean government has set up a commission of 24 experts, especially from the academic world, in order to prepare a draft text. A Constitutional Council of 50 members, elected by the people, will debate this draft text. The final version will be submitted at the end of the year to a new referendum.

This exchange was followed by a working meeting with Minister van Klaveren at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At the core of this exchange was Russian aggression against Ukraine and its global dimension. The two ministers reiterated that Russia’s aggression is contrary to the international system based on international law and reaffirmed their full support for the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of Ukraine.

Chile and Luxembourg reportedly enjoy excellent bilateral relations, framed by a number of bilateral agreements.

Minister Asselborn commended Chile's efforts in the development of sustainable and decarbonisation industries, and the opportunities these investments create to deepen economic ties between the two countries.

The discussion also focused on the regional situation in Latin America and the main challenges facing the region. Both sides commended Brazil's return to a rights-respecting domestic and foreign policy.

Both ministers welcomed the excellent cooperation between the EU and Chile, which recently concluded negotiations for the modernisation of the Association Agreement, in view of adapting it to the realities of the 21st century, especially in terms of sustainable development and human rights advocacy.

Chile and Luxembourg will also collaborate in the implementation of their respective feminist foreign policies and the visit was an opportunity to exchange on the different approaches concerning this policy, whether within the diplomatic corps or in the defence of the rights of women and girls in multilateral  fora.

Finally, the head of Luxembourg's diplomacy visited the Diplomatic Academy of Chile in Santiago where he had an informal exchange with the young trainee diplomats. Students listened to Minister Asselborn's opinion on migration, the fight against disinformation, the importance of regional integration and multilateralism for countries such as Luxembourg or Chile.