On the second leg of his Latin America trip, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier travelled to the Peruvian capital Lima. Together with his counterpart Gonzalo Alfonso Gutiérrez Reinel, on Saturday (14 February) Steinmeier signed an agreement intended to strengthen the political dialogue between the two countries through regular consultations.
Before setting off on his trip to Peru, Colombia and Brazil, Foreign Minister Steinmeier stated: “Latin America is a partner region with great potential for Germany. Our partnership is based on shared values and cultural ties. We want to work together to shape globalisation in a responsible way.”
Respect for Peru’s growing international responsibility
On Saturday (14 February), the Minister had talks in Lima: his schedule included a meeting with Peru’s Foreign Minister Gutiérrez Reinel. Steinmeier was welcomed by his colleague with military honours in the inner courtyard of the Palacio de Torre Tagle, the Minister’s seat in the heart of Lima.
Steinmeier said prior to his talks that he wanted to “align the German and European view with Latin America’s perspective”. He went on to say that the focus was on where the two sides could work even more intensively and effectively together. That went for international crises from Ukraine to Nigeria as well as developments in Latin America. The German Foreign Minister also reaffirmed that global challenges such as developing ambitious measures to protect the climate and the environment can only be tackled effectively if we work together.
Aptly, the two Foreign Ministers also discussed regional and international issues during their talks. At the subsequent press conference, Foreign Minister Steinmeier praised Peru’s increased responsibility in the international arena. The two Foreign Ministers condemned the terrorist attack in Copenhagen in the strongest possible terms and stressed their determination to stand up for freedom of opinion and of art.
Bilateral relations were another focus during the talks. Steinmeier and Gutiérrez Reinel last met in Berlin in summer 2014. With the aim of further strengthening the political dialogue between the two countries, they signed a declaration of intent on Saturday concerning a mechanism for political consultations. Regular meetings and consultations are to take place between the two countries on this basis at the appropriate levels.
Shared values with Latin America
In the morning, Foreign Minister Steinmeier took part in a panel discussion in Lima on megacities and mobility along with Richardo Vida Nuñez, Deputy Minister of Housing and Urban Development, and Jorge von Wedemeyer, President of Lima’s Chamber of Commerce. Lima, whose historical centre is a UNESCO World Heritage SIte, has experienced a sharp increase in its population during the last few years. The city now has almost 10 million inhabitants. Von Wedemeyer began by pointing out that particularly infrastructure and traffic logistics are among the pressing challenges facing Greater Lima.
In his opening comments, Foreign Minister Steinmeier looked at the opportunities for working together with German business to keep pace with developments, especially in the spheres of infrastructure and transport. At the same time, Steinmeier advocated that social cohesion and participation in urban life should be taken into consideration when shaping urbanisation. He reminded the audience that infrastructure could also help to promote social cohesion.
In addition to a high‑level business delegation, Steinmeier was accompanied on his Latin America trip by representatives from the cultural sphere as well as members of the Bundestag from all parliamentary groups.