Chile's President Visits Union Glacier

ALE was delighted to welcome the President of the Republic of Chile, Sebastián Piñera Echenique, to Union Glacier today. President Piñera has a strong interest in Antarctica and has made several visits to the continent but this was his furthest trip south (79S) and the first to the extreme edge of the Chilean sector (80W).

Chile’s Commitment to Antarctica

chile-president-visit-insetThe visit is one of several that, according to Piñera, “…symbolize our deep commitment as a country to the Antarctic continent. Chile is going to strengthen its presence and its contribution so that this continent can enable us to address the future and develop science and tourism.” The President has made similar visits to the Antarctic Peninsula with the Presidents of Uruguay and Ecuador, all of whom are members of the Antarctic Policy Counsel (CPA).

A New Antarctic Station

Part of the purpose of this visit to Union Glacier is for the President to see potential locations for a new Chilean station in the area, to be operated by the Fuerza Aérea de Chile (FACh). During a recent visit to London, President Piñera signed an agreement to strengthen scientific cooperation between the British Antarctic Survey and the Instituto Antártico Chileno (INACH).

A Visit with ALE

During his stay at Union Glacier, President Piñera visited the FACh summer camp and met several members of the ALE team. He was welcomed in particular by ALE’s Operations Manager and our Chilean staff. It was great day for them and a great day for ALE. We’ve gained greatly over the years by visits from Chilean scientists from a number of research institutes, and look forward to continuing cooperation with them.

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