Venezuela to host next Aspa
Caracas will host the 5th Summit of South American-Arab Countries in 2018. President Nicolás Maduro already presented proposals to be discussed.
Riyadh – The next Summit of South American-Arab Countries (Aspa) will be in Venezuela in 2018. The announcement was made this Wednesday (11th) during the final session of the fourth edition of the meeting of heads of state and government, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The president of the South American country, Nicolás Maduro, wasted no time as he already proposed new initiatives.
Based on models of organizations devised within the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), although not yet created, he suggested the founding of a bi-regional development bank “to make investments in economic and technological development”.
He also proposed the creation of a permanent general secretariat to “reinforce the preparation of the summit and make fully effective” the actions defined by the governments of the 34 countries. For now, Brazil is responsible for the South American coordination of the Aspa’s follow-up work until Unasur creates its own general secretariat.
“There is a lot we can share and do as sister regions”, pointed out Maduro. “We are already with our hearts and doors open towards 2018”, he said.
Brazil’s minister of Foreign Affairs, Mauro Vieira, said to ANBA that “these are topics that can be discussed”. He headed Aspa’s Brazilian delegation in Riyadh. “These are Venezuelan proposals that we are open to discuss. Everything that creates possibilities for a closer relationship between the countries, for increasing trade, is always welcome”, he added.
Maduro also talked about the topics discussed in the last two days, such as the commitment of the countries in the two blocs with UN’s Sustainable Development Agenda for 2030 and the repudiation of terrorism. “We must take on the fight against terrorism as everyone’s duty”, he said.
He also supported the progress of peace negotiations in Syria, Libya and Yemen, and on Palestine, he said: “I have as a dream that in the summit of 2018 we will have a Palestinian state widely recognized [internationally] and with an independent people”.
A member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), Venezuela has carried out negotiations along the large Arab producers to reduce the production quotas and, thus, try to raise the prices of the commodity, since the country suffers with the decline in revenues due to low prices. Ecuador, whose president, Rafael Correa, also attended Aspa in Riyadh, has similar interests.
*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani