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BRICS, South American nations discuss “shared interests”
July 16, 2014, 5:47 pm

BRICS leaders at a Summit with South American leaders in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil on 16 July 2014 [PPIO]

BRICS leaders at a Summit with South American leaders in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil on 16 July 2014 [PPIO]

The five heads of state of BRICS on Wednesday held talks with leaders from Venezuela, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador and other South American nations at the Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia as part of a BRICS outreach strategy.

UNASUR and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) leaders were invited to attend the 6th BRICS Summit in Brazil. The African Union had participated in the Durban Summit last year.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said the BRICS-Unasur (Union of South American Nations) meet would highlight the “many shared interests” of these countries. Argentina had earlier expressed interest in joining the powerful bloc, although BRICS have ruled out expansion of the group for now.

The Summit on Wednesday was held behind closed doors but sources said the leaders have discussed possibilities of BRICS investment in infrastructure projects across Latin America and enhanced oil cooperation.

Present at Wednesday’s Summit were Uruguay President Jose Mujica, Chile’s Michelle Bachelet, Ecuador’s Rafael Correa, Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro, Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández and Bolivia’s, Evo Morales among others.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has lauded the achievements of the BRICS leaders Summit that saw the bloc create a $100 billion development bank and a $100 billion emergency fund.

“The BRICS have made very important decisions to change the political and economic world order,” said Maduro.

BRICS and South American nations are allied in their push for a multi-polar world.

The invitation this year to Latin American heads of states comes as the region tries to match the inspiring growth rates of above 4.3 per cent of 2004-11.

Meanwhile, South American nations are also jointly exploring the creation of a communications system to curtail US spying in the region.

Latin American countries raised a storm of protest after, according to US NSA leaks by former contractor Edward Snowden, the agency spied on an array of nations in the region, including Brazil.

The BRICS declaration signed in Fortaleza earlier on Tuesday asserted BRICS support for “the South American integration processes”

“We believe that strengthened dialogue among BRICS and South American countries can play an active role in enhancing multilateralism and international cooperation, for the promotion of peace, security, economic and social progress and sustainable development in an interdependent and increasingly complex, globalizing world,” said the Fortaleza declaration.

Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping suggested in Brasilia on Wednesday that Peru, Brazil and China jointly work on a planned railway crisscrossing the South American continent.

During a meeting with Peruvian President Ollanta Humala, Xi said the three countries will issue a joint statement later during the day on the railway project, which will run all the way from the Peruvian Pacific coast to the Brazilian Atlantic coast.

Xi proposed that a trilateral work group to navigate their cooperation in all related aspects, including the planning, design, construction and operation of the transcontinental rail.

The Chinese President will now be visiting Argentina and “traditionally friendly nations” like Venezuela and Cuba from July 18 to 23.




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