Argentina proposes CELAC as an area "multilateral" dialogue

Photo: (file) Camila Godoy

Argentina seeks to reinforce the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac) as a “multilateral” area for global dialogue, the presidential spokeswoman said on Thursday Gabriela Cerruttiin relation to the decision of President Alberto Fernández de invite their counterparts from the United States, Joe Biden, and from China, Xi Jinpingto participate in the next summit of heads of state of this regional mechanism that will take place on January 24 in Buenos Aires.

Fernández, in his capacity as pro tempore president of Celac, extended the invitations to Biden and Xi Jinping, who have not yet confirmed their attendance at the meeting that will have the participation of the new president as the main course Luiz Inacio “Lula” Da Silva, in what will be the return of Brazil to the bloc from which it had been temporarily excluded by decision of its predecessor, the far-right Jair Bolsonaro.

“What Celac intends is to generate a multilateral relationship, so that we can fortify Celac as a place of dialogue with the different axes in which the different countries in the world are somehow located”Cerruti indicated at a press conference on Alberto Fernández’s initiative to invite the leaders of the US and China to the summit, countries that maintain a strong geopolitical dispute, which is also at stake in the region.

Regarding the invitation to Biden, Cerruti recalled that, at the Summit of the Americas, in June 2022, which was hosted by the United States, Fernández had already raised the need for “the United States to look at Latin America and reverse the policies that (Donald) Trump had carried out” for the region, and that, instead, Washington has in the future “a relationship with Celac and Latin America.”

The spokeswoman outlined that it was this context in which the Argentine President anticipated the invitation to his American counterpart, who, she maintained, “when (Fernández) came down from the stage, Biden told him: it would be a pleasure for me to be invited.”

“In this framework and in this courtesy, the invitation was sent without any other type of expectations,” Cerruti remarked, while justifying the letter sent by the head of state to Xi Jinping so that he also attend the VII Summit of Heads of State and Government of Celac, in the “very important” bilateral relationship that Argentina maintains with the Asian giant.

Likewise, the spokesperson emphasized that the meeting of CELAC heads of state “is a very important meetingwhere are they going to be all regional leaders“, and stressed the importance for the national government of the state visit that, one day before that summit, “Lula” Da Silva will make in Buenos Aires, the first since his inauguration, on January 1, in front of the Palace of the Planalto.

In this context, Cerruti highlighted the “excellent bilateral meeting” that Fernández and Lula held in Brasilia in the framework of the inauguration of the Brazilian president, while highlighting the international presence of the Argentine President, confirming the arrival in the country of the foreign minister German, Olaf Scholz,at the end of January.

“Argentina continues to grow as a leader in the region, in a very important place”said the spokeswoman, and ironized: “Sometimes it makes us smile when the former president (Mauricio Macri) says that we are isolated from the world.”

The invitations to Biden and Xi Jinping had been confirmed to Télam this Wednesday by the Argentine embassies in the United States and in China, in charge of Jorge Arguello Y Sabino Vaca Narvajarespectively.

Argüello held a working meeting this Wednesday with the Undersecretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs of the Department of State, Brian Nichols, at the headquarters of the Argentine diplomatic representation in Washington DC, where both reviewed the “state of the bilateral relationship,” the Argentine embassy in a statement.

On that occasion, the official handed Nichols the formal invitation from President Fernández addressed to Biden to participate as “special guest” at the VII Summit of Heads of State and Government of CELAC.

Meanwhile, sources from the embassy in China confirmed to this agency that the Argentine government had sent formal invitations to Xi Jinping for Celac, which in turn “were presented in a timely manner to the authorities of that country.”

As reported this Thursday by the Argentine Foreign Ministry in a statement, the opening of the summit will take place from 10 am and will be led by President Alberto Fernández, in his role as head of the regional mechanism.

Subsequently, Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero will make an exhibition of the work developed by the Argentine PPT during 2022

As detailed from the organization of the summit -in charge of the national coordinator of Celac, Gustavo Martínez Pandiani (undersecretary of Latin America and the Caribbean of the Foreign Ministry- Argentina exercised the PPT of the bloc during the year 2022, on the “principles of unity in diversity and Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace”, articulating a broad Work Plan that contemplated 15 axes and more than 60 activities.

“Our country undertook the task with the deep conviction that working together, without excluding anyone and valuing our cultural richness, strengthens the voice of Latin America and the Caribbean on the global stage, while strengthening us in the future. the challenges of our region”, highlights the official document.

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