February 21. 2024. 7:27

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Spain wants EU-Latin America united ‘forever’


Establishing a framework for political, trade and financial relations that will leave the EU and Latin America “united forever” will be among Spain’s top priorities as it takes over the EU Council helm for the second half of 2023, Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares, told EURACTIV’s partner EFE in an exclusive interview.

Albares (PSOE/S&D) will travel to Santo Domingo this week where he will participate in the 28th Ibero-American Summit, the first stage of Spain’s renewed commitment to Latin America.

Reasons for Albares’ optimism about future consolidation of relations between the EU and Latin America include Spain’s commitment to holding a bilateral summit between the EU and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and the war in Ukraine, which he says has led Europe to take a new look at Latin America.

“We Europeans have rediscovered that we need partners, friends and allies in the world”, he said.

“Latin America is by far the most Euro-compatible region on the planet, with the same values, the same commitment to multilateralism, the rejection of war, respect for the United Nations Charter… it is natural for us to work together”, the minister adds.

Nevertheless, the chief of Spanish diplomacy considers that the EU must be proactive and intensify the common agenda.

“What Europe cannot continue to do is what it has done on too many occasions in recent years, which is to take Latin America for granted precisely because they are compatible with us, they are close to us, they share our values,” he stressed.

General elections will be held in December in Spain, when the country is in the final month of its EU Council presidency, which starts on 1 July.

(Luis Sánz | EFE)