November 29, 2008 / 11:01 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 1-Peru cancels defense visit to Chile over video

(Adds comments from Peru president, foreign minister)

LIMA, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Peru said on Saturday it canceled a trip by its defense minister to neighboring Chile after Peru’s army chief was shown making anti-Chilean statements online.

Edwin Donayre was discovered on the video-sharing website YouTube this week saying that Chileans should not be allowed into the country, and that if they did enter they would have to leave in “boxes” and “plastic bags.”

The statements apparently were made months ago at a private meeting. But they caused an uproar in both countries after they appeared in local media in recent days, drawing assurances from Peruvian President Alan Garcia that the army chief would get a speedy retirement.

“I have conferred with the foreign minister and as per his recommendations I have decided not to travel to Chile for the moment and will await another time,” said Peruvian Defense Minister Antero Flores-Araoz.

He had been scheduled to attend an event in the Chilean port city of Valparaiso next week.

The decision came a day after a Chilean government spokesman said such a visit might be “inopportune” given the circumstances.

The spokesman’s remark drew a sharp response from Peru on Saturday. Garcia said his country “did not accept pressure or orders from anybody outside of Peru.”

Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Garcia Belaunde said, “Frankly, when one is ‘uninvited,’ it’s not very courteous.”

The incident is the latest diplomatic spat between Chile and Peru, which have good relations but disagree on issues ranging from maritime borders to the origins of a grape liquor they both make called Pisco. (Reporting by Teresa Cespedes; Writing by Pav Jordan; Editing by Xavier Briand)

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