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Europe and Latin America did not agree on even an expression of “concern” over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, however leaders of the 2 areas maintained that their first summit in eight years had pushed ahead relations.
Wording on Ukraine had already been considerably watered down over the course of the two-day assembly, together with by eradicating any reference to Russia, to the frustration of European leaders who’ve sought to win over the “international south” to Ukraine’s trigger.
However Nicaragua, whose president Daniel Ortega is an ally of Vladimir Putin, was the only holdout on a textual content authorized by 59 different nations that expressed “deep concern on the continued struggle in opposition to Ukraine”. That prevented a unanimous assertion on the difficulty.
After the summit, Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, stated: “It’s additionally important to notice that our pals in Latin America and the Caribbean help us . . . the struggle is an issue for Europe and the world.”
European leaders burdened they’d achieved broad settlement for the expression of “concern” concerning the struggle, together with from different Russian allies resembling Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia. The international locations in attendance, minus Nicaragua, issued a joint declaration.
“What’s vital to me is that each one the EU members are aligned on that and all of the Celac [Community of Latin American and Caribbean States] members are aligned besides Nicaragua,” stated Emmanuel Macron, the French president.
“The assembly was crucial and really formidable,” stated Alberto Fernández, president of Argentina. “By no means earlier than have we been in a position to attain so many factors of settlement as we’ve got achieved now.”
Macron additionally praised the function of Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in supporting efforts to search out frequent language. “[Lula] doesn’t go so far as some allies of Nato however he’s completely lucid on the character of this struggle and its penalties, together with on meals,” stated Macron, referring to Russia’s determination to back out of a deal to export Ukrainian grain throughout the Black Sea.
Whereas talks on the joint assertion have been held up by Nicaragua, there was progress in side-meetings on the two-day summit. Each Lula and European Fee president Ursula von der Leyen stated they hoped to achieve settlement on the long-delayed EU-Mercosur deal by the tip of the 12 months.
Lula, Macron, Fernández and Gustavo Petro, the president of Colombia, brokered the primary assembly between the federal government of Venezuela and its opposition since talks broke down between the events in Mexico in November 2022. International locations additionally reached accord on the post-Cotonou settlement, a political and commerce settlement between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific international locations, which had been blocked by Poland.
Establishing extra common contact with Latin American leaders had additionally been a aim of the summit. The leaders agreed to fulfill in Colombia in 2025.
Further reporting by Henry Foy in Brussels and Michael Stott in London