Hagel Calls Chile’s Disaster Responses ‘Model for Region’
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 16, 2014 In a Pentagon meeting with Chilean Defense Minister Jorge Burgos Varela today, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel commended the minister for Chile's response to recent natural disasters.
Chilean Defense Minister Jorge Burgos talks with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, foreground, during a meeting at the Pentagon, April 16, 2014. The two leaders discussed issues of mutual importance. DOD photo by Marine Corps Sgt. Aaron Hostutler
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
In a statement summarizing the meeting, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said Hagel noted that Chile's national disaster response capabilities are a model for the entire region.
Two earthquakes struck Chile's northern coast earlier this month, and wildfires that have raged in recent days in the port city of Valparaiso. Hagel and passed on his condolences for the victims of the natural disasters, Kirby said.
The two defense leaders also further discussed areas of mutual concern and potential future collaboration on disaster response issues, the press secretary added.
"Both leaders discussed a range of topics and issues of mutual interest relating to security and cooperation throughout Central and South America,” Kirby said. “Secretary Hagel recognized Chile's strong partnerships throughout Central America as an important contribution to capacity and stability in the region and expressed interest in trilateral cooperation initiatives there. He also noted Chile's engagements in the Pacific region as another area for collaboration.”
Hagel thanked Burgos for his continued support and partnership, the admiral said, and told him that he looks forward to meeting with the minister again at the Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas in Peru in October.