31 January 201417:34

Comment by the official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Alexander Lukashevich, summarising the SELAC summit

172-31-01-2014

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The Second summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (SELAC) was held in Havana on the 28-29 January.

The result was an extended declaration, reflecting the aspiration of the member states of this organisation, to further consolidate Latin America as a new centre of the multipolar world. Participants at the summit agreed to search for ways of resolving regional and bilateral problems exclusively through dialogue and negotiations, on the basis of international law. The task to transform this region into an area of peaceful development has been announced.

The results of this large and representative forum confirmed that Russia and theSELAC countries share the common principles which form the foundation of our countries' foreign policies. These are unconditional respect for international law and the UN Charter, sovereign equality of states, non-use of force or threat of force, democracy, the protection of human rights, economic, social and ecological goals of sustainable development, global and regional stability, energy and food security, and the resolution of climate change problems.

Our approaches to several "hot" international topics such as Syria and Iran are also close or match. Such a position of our Latin American partners creates favourable preconditions for the further strengthening of interaction between Russia and SELAC in a broad range of issues.

The successful summit in Havana under Cuba's presidency confirmed the high authority of this country in the region. We also note that SELAC participants emphasised that they are against the US policy of economic, trade and financial blockade against Cuba. This is an anachronism of the "cold war" times, which does not correspond to the reality of the modern world.

We view the establishment of SELAC as a perspective process, which helps to harmonise the integration and development of Latin America in various fields. We see this community as a prospective partner.

We note the activation of Russia's ties with SELAC, with satisfaction. An important agreement to establish a mechanism of Russian-SELAC political dialogue and cooperation was reached within the framework of the visit of the foreign ministers of the extended "troika" of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States to Moscow, in May 2013. We will further deepen our interaction with this universal body which combines all the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.

31 January 2014

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