Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, issued the following statement after a telephone conversation with Chile's Foreign Minister Mariano Fernandez (27/02/2010)


"I spoke with Foreign Minister Fernandez earlier this evening and expressed my heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and the people and residents of Chile who are confronted with this disaster. Foreign Minister Fernandez gave me the current assessment of the situation by the Chilean authorities. I underlined that I was very impressed with the professional way in which the Chilean authorities are handling the situation. I reiterated that the EU stands ready to provide support to the Chilean Government, should it be required. We agreed to stay in close contact".