“I’m going to sit at the President of the United States’ desk,” said Chilean President Sebastián Piñera as he sat down at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, breaking the White House’s political protocols in front of a visibly surprised President Barack Obama.
Piñera’s decision, seemingly done spontaneously and without consulting Obama’s advisers or security personnel, was the highlight of the Chilean leader’s first official visit to the United States.
In an apparent justification for his actions, Piñera said: “You know my daughter was born in the United States.”
One of the individuals who witnessed the incident asked, amid the surprise and laughter that was heard in the Oval Office, how many other presidents in the World had done that. Without any visible irritation, but with a hint of surprise and perhaps dissaproval on his face, Obama responded: “He’s the only one.”
During the one hour long meeting between Obama and Piñera, the leaders discussed issues concerning the bilateral relations between both countries.
President Barack Obama welcomed Piñera to the White House on Tuesday and praised the South American country’s growing economy and democratic advancement, according to the Associated Press.
Both leaders said they were committed on working towards a comprehensive trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region, which would include the two countries.