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Peruvians slam President’s stance on Bolivia

Peruvians Slam President’s Stance on Bolivia

Lima, Jul 29 2008 (Prensa Latina) — Peruvian President Alan Garcia has been criticized by foreign policy experts, who described as confrontational his reference to his differences with Bolivia in a report on his administration.

Former Deputy Foreign Minister Luis Solari said the reference to the differences between Lima and La Paz on an Association Agreement between the Andean Community of Nations (CAN) and the European Union (EU), referring to the format of the free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States, which Bolivia rejects, is regrettable.

Garcia said his country needs the agreement, so he must be firm regarding Bolivia’s demand, so experts think that statement may be responded by the government of President Evo Morales.

The treatment with the Andean country needs to be different and these statements do not help, warned Solari, who harbors the hope that Bolivia will not reply and bilateral relations will not freeze again.

A debate on President Morales’s concern about the presence of US troops in Peru harmed relations this month, but the two governments said the situation was normal again.

Solari noted that his country is going through a sort of isolationism in the region that should not get worse.

The newspaper La Republica pointed out that the president’s reference to Bolivia does not contribute to good understanding between the two countries.

International analyst Farid Kahhat described Garcia’s statement as incomprehensible, because the president said the differences with Bolivia would be a problem only if that country’s stance at the CAN-EU talks leads to Peru’s eventual withdrawal from the Andean bloc to negotiate on its own.

He added that such an option is unviable and sterile, at least for the time being, because the European Union only wants to negotiate with other groups of countries.

Analyst Ernesto Velit warned that the phrase will cause unrest in the neighboring country, and noted that the Peruvian government has nothing to demand from Bolivia.

 source: Prensa Latina