Chile promotes presidential summit to form new group to replace Unasur

SANTIAGO – Chile has proposed to initiate a dialogue between the governments of South America for the creation of a new regional bloc, a matter that could be discussed at a future summit of presidents in Santiago, sources at the Chilean Foreign Ministry confirmed.

The proposal to create a new bloc was presented during a meeting on “South American integration” held last Monday in the Chilean Foreign Ministry, which was attended by representatives of South American governments, except Venezuela, it was indicated.

The proposal, which is in the exploratory phase, was transferred to the presidents of the rest of the South American countries, and could be discussed at a summit of presidents in Chile, whose date has not yet been determined.

During Monday’s meeting in Santiago, Chilean Foreign Minister, Roberto Ampuero, expressed the need to “promote a South American integration initiative,” according to a statement on the website of Chile’s foreign minister.

“South American integration continues to be the indicated way to promote sustainable development and build a better future for our peoples,” he added.

The creation of the new block would aim to replace the current Union of South American Nations (Unasur) that became operational in 2011 and was driven by former presidents Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (Brazil) and Hugo Chavez (Venezuela).

Unasur is currently experiencing a crisis, since its continuity has been questioned after last year, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Peru decided to suspend their participation in this instance until a new general secretary was elected as a replacement of Colombian Ernesto Samper, who finished his term in January 2017.–MercoPress