The 16th Defence Staff Talks took place on 13-14 September 2018 in Santiago at the Ministry of Defence, between the Office of the Chilean Undersecretary of Defence and the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence.
The talks were led by the Undersecretary of Defence, Cristian de la Maza Riquelme, representing Chile; and the Minister for the Armed Forces, Mark Lancaster, representing the United Kingdom. This meeting is the most valuable dialogue instance between both Ministries of Defence, in which there is the opportunity to exchange views on topics of mutual interest and to discuss opportunities for mutual cooperation.
During the talks, the status of the activities agreed in the 2017 Defence Talks was revised; topics of mutual interest were discussed, mainly relating to the bilateral cooperation agenda between both countries and there was an exchange of defence political views.
Furthermore, as part of these activities, the United Kingdom delivered a cyber defence workshop, attended by members of the Chilean Armed Forces and of the national cyber security sector.
At the end of the meeting, the Undersecretary of Defence, Cristián de la Maza, and the Minister for the Armed Forces, Mark Lancaster, signed a Letter of Agreement for mutual cooperation in cyber defence.
Undersecretary de la Maza, valued the discussions held during the bilateral and said:
We thank the United Kingdom for sharing its experiences in different areas of common interest, particularly in the field of Cyberdefense, as this helps us to better understand the challenges we face and reduce learning periods, as we learn from countries that have already traveled this path. In this regard, activities such as the one carried out together with the signing of the letter of intent, help strengthen the close ties that exist between both countries in terms of establishing relations of collaboration.
Minister Lancaster said:
The UK is working with friends and partners around the globe, including Chile, to share experience and information and help counter threats and attacks in cyber space. It is a pleasure for us to have a team of British experts to work with the Chilean MOD, with the aim of sharing our experience in cyber security and defence. The UK hopes that today’s signing of a Letter of Intent on cyber defence cooperation will be another step in moving forward together to counter a threat that has the potential to affect all of us.
At the end of the visit, Minister Lancaster and the UK delegation visited the Chilean Peacekeeping Operations Centre – CEOCPAC and had the opportunity to meet with the Director of CECOPAC and to have a tour of the facilities.
Please find the press release published in Spanish by the Chilean Ministry of Defence here.