Peru’s stance on Latin American diplomatic issues
WASHINGTON DC- Peru’s ambassador to the US, Harold Forsyth, sat down to an interview with US Journalist Eddie Walsh to discuss Diplomatic issues in Latin America for the Al-Jazeera website.
Walsh questioned Forsyth on the warming relations between Peru and Chile, citing the recent cases of alleged espionage and issues relating to Chilean military exercises. “We are two big countries with a complicated history. But, we are also friendly countries with a rich history and mutual interests trying to share a common destiny.”
In terms of using existing international security structures, Forsyth expressed his confidence in the international architecture that is designed to deal with global disputes. “We have no other choice but to manage these issues within existing security architectures in Latin America and the world, such as the United Nations. That is why they exist. The International Court of Justice has very qualified judges. They will decide whatever doubts we and the Chileans have about the maritime borders. We truly believe in the structure that exists in the international system for the peaceful solution of controversies.”
Recent figures show that Latin America’s defence spending rose 5.8 percent in 2010, surpassing growth in North America, Africa and Asia. Peru and Chile were two of the highest increases. Ambassador Forsyth suggests that, in terms of Peru, these percentage increases are not a trend. “For the last ten years, we have been one of the lowest defence spenders in Latin America. That has put our armed forces in a very difficult situation. So, plans have been put in place, including in the last few months, to just recover a little of what has been lost and not increase the firepower potential of the armed forces. We are concerned, though, about the defence spending in the region as a whole.
Something has to be done to regulate the region’s defence spending. Nobody wants an arms race.”
Analysts have pointed to Chile as being the most influential South American country with respect to the Pacific basin. It has become known as Latin America’s Pacific Gateway. In terms of up-coming importance, Forsyth suggested Brazil as being one of Latin America’s most economically and politically powerful countries. “But, all analysts agree that the potential of Peru is great. It is now predicted that we will be among the top 25 countries by 2050. Our rate of growth is impressive. So, the world should expect something from us although they don’t yet see it.” Forsyth explained.