The Gulf Times newspaper of Qatar cited Chilean Ambassador Jean Paul Tarud over the weekend as saying that ‘‘Chile has some of the largest fresh water export capabilities in the world.’’
The report caused a public outcry in Chilean social media after Tarud reportedly confirmed that a trial project to export fresh drinking water to Qatar had started.
But Chile’s foreign ministry ruled out any such project, saying media reports had confused the intention of a private company in Qatar with a plan by Chile’s government.
‘‘There’s no initiative from the government or our embassy’’ in the United Arab Emirates, the ministry said in a statement Monday. ‘‘Ambassador Tarud denies making the claims attributed to him on the subject and even more so, making any offerings involving the Chilean government.’’
The world’s driest desert is located in Chile’s north and the country has been suffering from drought in several regions. Environmental groups have staged protests in recent months arguing that Chile’s water scarcity is caused by government policies that exploit natural resources.”
Read more: Boston globe