Source Pravda.Ru

Chile To Maintain Independence in UN Security Council

The South American country is the youngest member of the organism

As Council agenda is dominated by the Iraqi affair, Chilean Foreign Minister Soledad Alvear, made clear Santiago's decision not to let its close ties to the United States influence its position on a possible war on Iraq. Alvear confirmed Chile's stance is not subject to the economic compromise her country assumed after sealing a Free Trade Agreement with Washington last month.

"We have a lot of things in common with the United States and we are happy about that. ... However, given that there are obvious differences in size and importance, we are both sovereign nations and Chile will make its decisions independently in all areas, including, of course, those related to the Security Council," Alvear said to Reuters.

Notwithstanding, Santiago accepted the offer to to head the "Taliban-Al-Qaeda" comittee in despite of the local strong opposition. Many in Chile fear this decision would make the country a new target for international terrorism. Chile will take over the council's Afghanistan sanctions committee, which compiles lists of people and organizations suspected of association with Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network and remnants of the country's former Taliban rulers.

Since January 1st, Chile, together with Germany, Spain, Pakistan and Angola took rotating two-year seats of the Council. These five countries joined Bulgaria, Cameroon, Guinea, Mexico and Syria in the Security Council, but without right of veto as the remaining five - USA, France, Russia, UK and China - do have.

Asked by PRAVDA.Ru, sources of the Argentine Foreign Ministry confirmed Chile is not acting alone as kindly offered to discuss positions with its partners at Mercosur block, where, together with Bolivia, Chile is an associated member. Full members are Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

This is the fourth time Chile becomes member of such organism. However, it is the first time it has to face a pre-war crisis in office.

Hernan Etchaleco PRAVDA.Ru Argentina