Santa Elena, November 12th, 2015 (venezuelanalysis.com)- The fourth Summit of South American and Arab Countries (ASPA) represented a huge step for commercial and political integration between the two blocs, with the next meeting set to be held in Caracas, Venezuela, in 2018.
Bringing together 12 countries of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the 22 members of the Arab League, the summit was held this Thursday in the Saudi capital of Riyadh.
The designated “Riyadh Declaration,” signed by the 34 states, condemns "all forms of terrorism linked to any religion, culture or ethnic group,” while specifically advocating for a peaceful solution of the four-year conflict in Syria, and calls for an immediate withdrawal of the Israeli army from all Palestinian territories, including the Syrian Golan Heights and the remaining Lebanese territories.
Other issues addressed in the document include a bid for implementing UN resolutions to solve the current conflict in Yemen, and a political dialogue in Libya, also to be sponsored by the UN.
ASPA member states also pledged to work together in the energy sector for their mutual benefit, alluding to a potential agreement to address sliding oil prices.
According to official figures, capital exchange between the two blocs stood at US $33 billion in the last two years, indicating a strengthening commercial bond.
In his address to the Summit, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro highlighted the groups’ combined efforts toward “a multipolar world which recognizes new centers of political, economic and cultural power.”
“We vehemently aspire and dream that the summit in Caracas in 2018 be a consolidation of two regions of peace, two prosperous regions, two regions that give an example to the […] world that we can march together toward a great dialogue of civilizations, of humans.”