Updated 4 months, 3 weeks ago

EU, CELAC agree to strengthen dialogue, seek solutions to common challenges

The foreign ministers and delegation chiefs of the European Union and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, or CELAC, on Wednesday agreed to strengthen their dialogue and work to seek solutions to common issues such as climate change at a two-day meeting at which the Colombian peace process and the situation in Venezuela were also discussed.

Although the issue of Colombia was not part of the meeting’s official program, it was discussed at bilateral talks held parallel to the conclave, just as was the Venezuela crisis.

At a press conference after the signing of the Santo Domingo Declaration, the top representative of the EU for foreign affairs and security, Federica Mogherini, reiterated the bloc’s support for the Colombian peace process and said that President Juan Manuel Santos had been invited to travel to Brussels on Dec. 12 for the launching of a fiduciary fund to support the peace process.

Mogherini confirmed that on Tuesday she met in the Dominican capital with Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin.

In her speech, Mogherini urged a “sincere” and “constructive” dialogue in Venezuela.

Both the EU official and Dominican Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas met separately in Santo Domingo with the Union of South American Nations, or Unasur, facilitators – former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and former Dominican President Leonel Fernandez – to discuss the situation in Venezuela.

At the end of the international meeting, the officials approved the Santo Domingo Declaration, in which they agreed to intensify financial relations to better deal with development and climate change.

Mogherini on Wednesday also met with the foreign ministers of the Pacific Alliance – comprised of Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Peru – to strengthen ties between the two blocs.

The next EU-CELAC summit will be held in 2017 in El Salvador, which takes over the CELAC presidency pro tempore from the Dominican Republic in January.