Arab News – The bi-regional fourth summit of Arab-South American countries, hosted in Riyadh under the chairmanship of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and attended by delegations from Arab and South American countries, concluded on Wednesday advocating for better coordination on issues of mutual concern in order to further enhance multilateral ties among countries from the two regions and emphasized finding amicable solutions for regional issues including Palestine, Syria, Iran, Yemen and Libya.
At the conclusion of the summit, King Salman expressed appreciation to the heads of the delegations for their participation in making the fourth summit a huge success.
Notably, in his opening address King Salman stressed on developing economic relations between Arab and South American countries, promising to achieve development and prosperity to overcome all the obstacles and constraints.
Moreover, he called for the signing of free trade agreements, avoidance of double taxation and the promotion and protection of investments, which will provide a legal and regulatory framework to promote trade with smooth flows between the two regions.
The summit ended emphasizing the mutual understanding to bolster regional ties and advocating for the right of people to live in a stable condition, hoping for a prosperous future with no dangers of terrorism, nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction.
It further highlighted the need to achieve a comprehensive peace for the Palestinian cause in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy and the Arab Peace Initiative to establish the state of Palestine along the 1967 borders.
It underscored the need to reach a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis in accordance with the “Geneva Convention” and “Vienna Conference.”
It further emphasized the importance of finding a solution to the Yemeni crisis through relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council, especially Resolution 2216.
The summit further extended support to the ongoing political process of dialogue in Libya under UN patronage and expressed rejection of any interference in the internal affairs of countries in the region by foreign powers in violation of the charter of the United Nations.
At the end of the summit Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir and his Brazilian counterpart Mauro Vieira, who was also coordinating for the South American countries at the summit, addressed a joint press conference stressing continuous dialogue to further enhance bi-regional ties and promote South-South cooperation, the basis for the establishment of the summit better known by its Portuguese and Spanish acronym ASPA.
Earlier, Al-Jubeir advocated for the convergence of positions among countries from the two regions on issues of mutual concern maintaining that the previous three summits tried to develop trade and investment and there remain promising opportunities for further collaboration.
He applauded South American countries’ positive stand on the Palestinian cause, which is the central issue along with Iran in the “Riyadh Declaration” approved at the conclusion of the summit.
The declaration concluded by announcing the fifth session of the ASPA summit to be held in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, and thanking King Salman for the warm hospitality.
Notably, the Riyadh ASPA summit called on Iran to stop its interference in the internal affairs of the neighboring states, which is a major part of the Riyadh Declaration.
Significantly, the declaration was adapted without reservation by all 34 participant countries as the summit gathers the 22 member-states of the Arab League and the 12 countries of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR).
The Riyadh Declaration also highlighted the ongoing plight of people in strife-torn Syria and Yemen, where coalition forces have been fighting to restore legitimacy.
King Abdullah of Jordan underlined the value of real partnership between Arab and South American countries.
Addressing the summit King Abdullah noted: “Our countries have a strategic importance, human resources and enormous natural resources, and our people have common grounds to abolish distances, whereas the Arab and South American legacy of human values brings us together with our continuing quest to deepen and broaden the bonds between our countries.”
“We gathered here for this Fourth South American-Arab Countries Summit that shall provide us with a solid platform to build on our countries’ strategic importance, rich human resources and natural wealth,” he added.
“We have so much in common that the long distances between our countries are not an obstacle, instead we look forward to establishing new bridges of cooperation and communication between the peoples and leaders of our countries as well as sharing expertise that would best serve our mutual interests,” he added.
“Our countries are blessed with promising and youthful populations. It is, therefore, our responsibility to create new and attractive job opportunities to meet their aspirations, in particular, it is incumbent on us to immunize and protect our youth against the poisons of terrorist and extremist ideologies, which certainly recognize no boundaries,” King Abdullah maintained.
Earlier, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, “relations between the Arab and South American countries have a significant history through commercial exchanges, regional cooperation in the fields of education and the dissemination of peace and support for human rights.”
He, however, urged them to engage in a dialogue on best practices for the protection of space and civil society institutions and building strong security sectors to achieve the interests of the people.
On his part, Brazilian Foreign Minister and Coordinator of South American Countries Mauro Vieira underlined that despite the geographical distance between South America and the Arab countries, there are a lot of common interests and common denominators between the two regions.
“We are all interested in achieving the well-being of our peoples, where South American countries embrace a wide range of Arab descent that leads us naturally to strengthen cooperation links without exception,” he said.
Vice President of Uruguay Danilo Astori, in his keynote address, said that the decline in oil prices had a negative impact on the incomes of many countries, while the two groups play an important role on the global geo-political map as oil suppliers in the world.
He said the challenge now is how to deal with economic development to continue building infrastructure challenges. He called for the need to play an important role by decision making at the international level and overcome the differences and take responsibility toward millions of citizens living in the two regions.


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